Apple Secures Europe Wide Injunction To Stop Infringement Of Ipad Design

Author:Ms Kate Colleary and John David Mulcahy
Profession:Eversheds O'Donnell Sweeney

Apple Inc has secured a Europe wide injunction against South Korean technology manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. which will prevent the sale of Samsungs "Galaxy Tab 10.1" tablet computer. A District Court in Dusseldorf granted the temporary injunction against Samsung for infringement of Apple's intellectual property rights in the industrial design of its iPad tablet computer.

Apple has a registered Community Design Right, in the design of the iPad tablet under the European Communities (Community Designs) Regulations 2003. The right is restricted to the outward appearance of the device as opposed to the inward technology designs, which are protected by an extensive network of patents. There is a significant volume of worldwide patent litigation currently ongoing between all of the major mobile telecommunications manufacturers surrounding these and similar technology patents.

Apple's application was for enforcement of its European Community Design rights and therefore this injunction can be enforced on a Europe wide basis, including in Ireland but excluding the Netherlands where Apple has undertaken a separate enforcement application. Eversheds has offices throughout Europe and regularly advises clients on similar Europe-wide enforcement mechanisms.

It should be noted that the decision of the German District Court was based on an ex-parte application only. Samsung did not appear and so no counter argument was heard. Samsung immediately indicated that they would be opposing the decision and indeed recent reports suggest that they have issued a strongly worded response this afternoon. The industrial...

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