Samsung secretly filed protective pleading to avoid Apple injunction

Aug 12, 2011
13

Court documents concerning the preliminary sales injunction Apple was granted against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 suggest the Korean company may not have been as blindsided by the court decision as it subsequently claimed. According to Samsung's official statement, "the request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung"; however, the court press release [pdf link] confirms that almost a week before the injunction was granted, Samsung did in fact file a "Schutzschrift" or protective pleading to the German court.

That pleading may well have been made in ignorance of Apple's moves to have a preliminary injunction against the 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet established in the European market, but certainly suggests that Samsung expected such a strategy from its Cupertino rival. According to the court press release, both Apple's arguments and Samsung protective pleading were taken into account when it made its decision that a preliminary injunction was, indeed, appropriate.

The release also details the two arguments Samsung made; firstly, that the situation lacked the urgency required for a preliminary injunction to be appropriate, and secondly that the company was readying a petition to have Apple's asserted Community design invalidated. As already announced, the hearing at which Samsung will present its opposition will be on August 25.

Although Samsung didn't exactly lie in its press release, claiming ignorance of the Apple injunction push, the "presentation of evidence" component does seem to overlook the protective pleading, in general terms if not purely legal ones. The company's motivations to do so are tricky to divine; Samsung's PR team must have known that the court papers would reveal the pleading had been filed, and a strategy pointing to the general nature of Apple's design as argued in the Netherlands would have arguably left the company looking more positive than it now does. Samsung faces the challenge of finding alternative arguments to those used in its pre-emptive pleading, or it will be forced to take its appeal to the second-instance court in the hopes of having the preliminary injunction overturned.

[via FOSSPatents]


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