|Apple wins patent lawsuit against Korean tech giant, Samsung [EPA]
Apple has scored a victory in its patent infringement battle against Samsung Electronics after a German court temporarily barred the Korean firm from selling the Galaxy tablet, it's flagship product, across most of the European Union.
Apple says that Samsung's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied the American company's iPhone and iPad devices.
It has sued in the United States, Australia and elsewhere. South Korea-based Samsung, whose tablets are based on Google Inc's Android software, has countersued Apple.
"There's no doubt the court decision will have an adverse effect on Samsung. Samsung is clashing with Apple in many places, which could result in a temporary fall in sales and increase costs related to litigation," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities in Seoul.
The German court order came a week after Samsung was forced to delay its launch of the latest Galaxy product in Australia as a result of a similar lawsuit.
Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet confirmed that a district court in the German city of Dusseldorf granted the preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The injunction covers all of the European Union with the exception of the Netherlands.
Apple has filed a separate case against Samsung in the Netherlands which is due to be heard by a court in The Hague on Wednesday and Thursday.
"It's a strategy Apple has adopted to completely prevent Samsung from putting its tablet into the market place," said Nathan Mattock, an intellectual property lawyer at Marque Lawyers in Sydney.
Samsung's mobile unit, which includes handsets and tablet PCs, generated 30 percent of the technology giant's revenue in the second quarter. Last year the South Korean company generated $142bn in revenue as a whole. It has said that it will challenge the court's decision.
"The request for an injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung," Samsung said.
Industry executives said Samsung could launch a new variation of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to get it on sale in Europe, as it plans to do in Australia, or settle the dispute by paying royalties to Apple.
"This will be an issue that will get settled between the two companies. Some deal will likely get made and
then they will move on ," said Peter Elston, Singapore-based Asia strategist at Aberdeen Asset Management Asia, which owns Samsung shares.
Elston said Samsung's strength came from memory chips. "They are way ahead of anybody else in that market and that is where they generate their super-normal profits," he said.
Samsung has been locked in a battle with Apple over smartphone and tablet patents since April. The Galaxy gadgets are seen as among the biggest challengers to Apple's mobile devices, which have achieved runaway success.
Apple sold 14 million iPads in the first half of this year worldwide, compared with analysts' sales estimates of about 7.5 million units for the Galaxy Tab over 2011.