Samsung blindsided by Apple's EU tablet injunction

In a statement, Samsung says it never even heard about Apple's injunction against it, or got a chance to defend its product from Apple's claims.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
3 min read
Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 Samsung

Following this morning's news about Apple winning a preliminary injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, Samsung has responded by saying that not only did the company never hear about the filing in the first place, but that it also never had the chance to present its side.

In a statement released to CNET this afternoon, and which has since been added to our original story on the injunction, a Samsung spokesman described the court's decision as "disappointing":

Samsung is disappointed with the court's decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world.

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.

We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world.

This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.

That's a stark contrast to the statement issued by Samsung in Australia just last week, wherein it noted that it had reached an amicable agreement with Apple and the Federal Court of Australia not to sell its existing Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet, and instead make a special version for the Australian market.

The back and forth between the two technology companies kicked off in April with an Apple lawsuit filed against Samsung in the U.S. alleging that the consumer electronics giant had violated its intellectual property in the design of its mobile devices. Like the EU injunction, that suit takes aim specifically at the Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets, as well as other Samsung smartphones, for "copying" Apple's user interface and design features. Samsung returned the favor a week later, countersuing Apple, alleging that the iPhone and iPad maker was infringing on several of its patents.

Since then, the two have traded colorful legal briefs, as well as complaints against one another with the U.S. International Trade Commission, attempting similar bans of each other's allegedly infringing products in the U.S.

Apple has kept mum on the result of today's injunction, though company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet reissued a statement Apple delivered with its original suit against Samsung in April to Bloomberg this afternoon.

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," Huguet said. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

The legal ramp up comes at a time when both companies are vying for the top spot across multiple product fronts. Recent reports like one from Strategy Analytics last week noted that Apple and Samsung had leapfrogged Nokia to nab the top segments of smartphone market share. Meanwhile, Samsung's Galaxy line of tablets is the company's effort to reach similar highs against products like Apple's iPad in the tablet market.