A small tablet manufacturer based in Spain has been reported to have won a lawsuit against the technology giant Apple, proving that the injunctions to ban projects are not necessarily always permanent. Nuevas Technology y Energias Catala, also called NT-K, has had its appeal against an injunction accepted by the local court which had earlier banned its Android based tablet from being sold in China.
NT-K is now free to sell the tablet in that market to the Chinese customers. Pedro David Pelaez, the founding partner of the company, stated that the ban which came into force last year formed a part of Apple’s larger attempts at restricting as many competing tablets from being sold in the market as it could.
The successful appeal by NT-K could now be a symbol of hope for much larger manufacturers like Samsung, as its Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been banned from being sold in Australia after an appeal by Apple citing patent infringements. Samsung is currently challenging the injunction and in the process it has also filed a counter suit against the newly launched iPhone 4S to stop it from being launched in the country. The South Korean company, however, has not received much success in its worldwide patent litigations against Apple.
However, NT-K, unlike Samsung, is an extremely small entity in the market, and thus this loss will be a reason for worry for Apple as it wages wars against much bigger companies which manufacture tablets. Recently, Samsung, too, has had some small successes against Apple, as just this last week it was permitted by an Australian court to fast track its appeal against the injunction banning its tablet from the country.
Courts don’t ban products in patent battles very often, even as companies threaten such consequences in order to force settlements. In the cases of the courts blocking the NT-K and Samsung tablets, the orders for the bans were not permanent; however, they later became injunctions which banned the tablet sales till a full trial.
However, during at a time when new tablets are coming into the market very rapidly, the ban of even a couple of months could mean that the tablet will become obsolete before it gets the nod from the courts. NT-K has also declared that it suffered extensive financial losses from the ban and it will now sue Apple for indulging in anti-competitive behavior.