The preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 across most of Europe has been temporarily suspended, opening the door for resumed sales in countries outside of Germany. According to Webwereld and FOSSPatents, while the injunction against Samsung Electronics GmbH – the German subsidiary – still stands, the cross-European injunction against Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd – the Korea-based parent company – no longer applies outside of German borders.
No comment on the actual cause of the Düsseldorf district court backtrack has been given, and it’s unclear whether reports suggesting that Apple manipulated images of the Tab 10.1 to make them more in line with its patent diagrams have anything to do with the decision. FOSSPatents suggests it’s more about the reach of the court than anything else: whether the district court was competent to prevent the Samsung parent company from selling products anywhere other than Germany itself.
There are also suggestions that confusions in language around “establishments” and “subsidiaries” between German and English could have also prompted the initial preliminary injunction. Whether that’s an argument Samsung or Apple will pick up remains to be seen, however.
Samsung began sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the Netherlands yesterday, and is now presumably able to begin or resume sales elsewhere in Europe as a result of this dilution of the preliminary injunction. It’s worth noting that, should the courts find against Apple when they eventually rule on the injunction issue, the company will be liable to pay potentially significant damages to Samsung based on loss of sales while Tab distribution has been frozen.