Despite being temporarily banned in every neighboring country, the Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy Tab 10.1 launched in the Netherlands on Tuesday, much to the chagrin of rival Apple.
Tamara Villani, Samsung spokeswoman in the Netherlands, said that the Android (News - Alert) tablet will go on sale in a large electronics chain on Tuesday, and will be available in other stores toward the end of August, according to Yahoo.
Samsung is temporarily banned from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all EU member states, with the exception of the Netherlands, after a German court ordered a preliminary injunction at the behest of Apple (News - Alert), which has accused Samsung of violating various patents from its iPad family of tablets. Samsung is appealing the decision.
The injunction doesn't cover the Dutch market because Apple filed a separate lawsuit in the Netherlands that won't be heard until later in the year.
“Whatever the decision, we can continue our business as planned until October 13,” Villani said.
The EU injunction apparently blindsided Samsung, which said that it wasn't aware of Apple's intentions until Tab shipments began being seized by European customs officers last week.
While Apple did not provide any specifics on the case, various media reports have indicated that the injunction stems from Samsung's alleged infringement of Apple's Community Design patent for the iPad.
“It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone (News - Alert) and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” an Apple spokeswoman said in an email to PC World. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
The South Korean electronics giant said that the injunction was granted “without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung,” and that it would “act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights.”
Unfortunately for Samsung, the appeals process will surely take a significant period of time. In this market, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 may be obsolete by the time the case is even heard. Samsung better hope that the Netherlands goes crazy over the tablet in the next two months.
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Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell