Here comes another twist in the ongoing Apple-Samsung tablet lawsuit which has bruised the South Korean electronics giant Samsung. It is believed a German court will uphold the ruling that iPad’s rival Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets can’t be sold in Germany, with the detailed ruling about Samsung’s design theft from Apple due on 9th September. Elsewhere, a Netherlands court has banned sales of three Samsung smart phones for infringing Apple iPhone patents.
However, Samsung can also breathe a minor sigh of relief as the Dutch court rejected Apple’s appeal of banning the tablet as well, and the German court withdrew the Europe-wide ban of devices citing lack of jurisdiction. Both these proceedings have come as a shock for Samsung, which had considered itself in a comfortable position regarding the patent lawsuits.
On 15th April 2011, Apple sued Samsung for blatantly copying the design of the iPhone and the iPad for its Galaxy mobile phone range, primarily the Galaxy S and Tab. Samsung then contested the lawsuit in the Regional Court of Dusseldorf granting Apple a preliminary injunction over the sales of Galaxy Tab 10.1 across Europe.
Many experts believe this comes due to the fact that Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the closest competitor to Apple’s very successful iPad series, and the only one in the market which can halt its juggernaut sales and close in the gap between the two companies.
Apart from the European Union, Apple has also managed to delay the Australian launch of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, causing another setback to the South Korean company. Although a regional hurdle shouldn’t affect Samsung much, it will become an issue if this problem becomes widespread. While Samsung had expected a slight let up after rival CEO Steve Jobs stepped down, it seems Apple is still not willing to ease the pressure.
Samsung is also concerned about Google branching into Motorola’s hardware business which it acquired last week. Just last week, the South Korean government warned Samsung and other Korean handset manufacturers about their dependence on Google’s Android for software. The government suggested that it should organize a consortium, led by Seoul, which will attempt to create an indigenous OS which will rival Android. Experts rebutted the idea, suggesting Samsung acquire an operating system firm.
Other suggestions include building a balanced operating system without much emphasis on Android. This implies that Samsung needs more Windows products and researching and developing Bada further, which though unlikely, may just be a strategy it pursues in part to reduce its dependence on Google.