September 18, 2014

Samsung seeking to invalidate Apple EU rights allegedly predated by US patent

In a hope to appeal its Galaxy Tab injunction in Germany, Samsung has brought forward the flat-panel display-related patent that reportedly might invalidate Apple’s design rights in Europe, being published 13 days before the EU rights were granted to the company. As commented by Judge Wilhelm Berneke, investigating the lawsuit, the scope of claims Apple could bring up against Samsung could be noticeably limited by new details. However, Berneke didn’t rule out the company still having some case.

In a Dusseldorf court, the judge said Apple’s tablet design to enjoy a broad range of protection due to its wide popularity. But some elements, like the very thin form factor characteristic of nearly every tablet, also need to stay free, he added.

Apple has objected to the filing, pointing out that Samsung was attempting to leverage an LCD patent, which the company claimed to be inapplicable to a tablet. On Berneke’s opinion, Apple might still take advantage of fair competition rules in its argument.

Both sides are hoping to change a preliminary ban on the Galaxy Tab lineup. While Samsung is eager to get the ban overturned immediately, Apple wants the injunction extended beyond Germany to involve the entire European Union. Preventing a loophole, the strategy would also try to block Samsung’s devices on its home turf in Korea, not only its German division. An official hearing on the appeals will take place on January 31st.

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