back to article Galaxy Tab remains illegal in Germany

Sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 remain illegal in Germany, a Dusseldorf court decided this morning. Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann believes that Samsung’s "smooth, simple surfaces" on the 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet copied the minimalist design of Apple's iPad. The court said that Apple's design isn't the only way to …


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  1. Paul M 1

    This title deliberately left optional

    I can only assume Apple are hoping to hold off a significant release of Samsung tablets until after Christmas to make one last land grab.

    Interestingly the HMV in Canary Wharf has now got a couple of long tables for selling tablets with 2 spaces reserved for the Samsung ones when they finally make it out (Coming Soon apparently).

    Mind you - I only counted 3 racks in the whole shop selling CDs but I guess that's progress!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Jesus h. christ Samsung, what are your lawyers being paid for ? I've seen umpteen examples of prior art on various websites, and just how hard can it be to demonstrate to a judge that rounded corners on rectangles and the like are fcuking utterly ridiculous claims.

    1. JoeSmooth

      Popped into Currys Digital on Oxford Street (Tottenham Crt. Rd end). looks like they already have them (16 GB Wifi/3G) in stock as there was one on the shop floor to play with and I must admit it knocks the spots of the other Android tabs before it.

      In all honesty I think Apple's tactics are disgusting and hope Samsung will keep on fighting because this hurts consumer choice.

      I hope are all the bureaucrats in Brussels are watching closely. Considering the bitch slap the EU dished out to Microsoft and Intel over the years Apple needs to learn that it doesn't own and control everything.

      1. Paul M 1

        I should have mentioned that one of the gaps is waiting for the 8.9 inch model which I've not yet seen in Currys née Dixons.

    2. JeepBoy

      Prior Art?

      Star Trek being one of those prior art examples of course. :)

      I recall many episodes with the crew using their "smooth and simple" tablets to display info, and communicate. I watched an episode only the other week... it looks like an iPad to me! :)

      Is prior art restricted to the "real world", or can fictional precursors be cited as prior art sufficient to cause a patent app to fail? Lawyers... feel free to comment, I don't know the answer.

      Expect Apple to be sued by Paramount Studios imminently! :)

  3. Mark Rendle

    Down With This Sort Of Thing

    Surely there's something equally idiotic that Samsung could file suit against Apple over? Just find something that Apple started making after Samsung, like TFT screens or whatever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      careful now!

    2. Paul_Murphy

      Ooh look - I don't have to put a title!

      Well - what about denying a company a legal income?

      Should do for starters - then they could work out their lost sales and charge that amount to Apple.

      Silly Apple - no sale for you!


      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Ooh look - I don't have to put a title!

        1. Samsung can and should charge this to apple and the current law allows them. When someone interferes with your legitimate business you can and should sue them for damages.

        2. Samsung should file a case with the EU comission. Apple possesses enough of the mobile market to be classed as a "company with significant market power" under EU laws which means that it becomes a subject to the competition comission. All it takes is to either show that tablets are a market of their own or to add tablets to mobile phones market (something apple has been doing itself). From there on, EU is in need for some money to bail out failing fraudulent governments and getting it of someone with a bigger cash pile than the US government sounds like a jolly good idea.

  4. Paul E


    Sanyone producing anything with 'smooth, simple surfaces' is now at risk of being sued by Apple?

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      I forget who said it, but it is true

      "If judges and professors were really that wise, they would need no gowns to prove it"

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Oh come on.

        The gowns are just there because they are shy about the fact that in addition to being wise, they also have ENORMOUS SEXUAL ORGANS.

      2. Richard 81

        ...and how many professors actually wear their gowns to anything other than No.1 dress occasions?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh no! My Polished Turd business is in big trouble. Not only my Turds don't have features iToys don't have but they also have apparently patentable 'smooth, simple surfaces' iToys have.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Screw Apple

    That is all.

  7. NoneSuch

    "Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann believes that Samsung’s "smooth, simple surfaces" on the 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet copied the minimalist design of Apple's iPad."

    Coming soon... Apple sues BWM for their windscreens, LG for their flat panel TV's and Canadian Ice Hockey arena's for their "Smooth, simple surfaces".

  8. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More information

    The way I see it, this is a case of trying to kill teh competition and leave Apple as the only player left standing.

    I mean, the difference in functionality of the two devices is so strong; screw looks; they are different beasts and all Apple is doing is trying to restrict my choice (not that I'm actually IN the market for a fondle slab anyway, and even if I was, I wouldn't buy Apple out of principle) and all that this is doing, is reinforcing my opinion that I'll never buy Apple ... unless I can jailbreak it to heck and back.

    Of course, if you beleive that everything is going in to the cloud, then yes it might be argued that everything comes down to looks, because all a slab will be, is a browser and wireless hardware. But then... they aren't.

  10. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  11. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

    Gordon Bennett

    There aren't half some numpties in the legal systems. If they apply this rule to 'phones, then most smartphone designs will be blocked in Germany.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More information

      "unless I can jailbreak it to heck and back."

      that means that you are still willing to buy their product. Just because the device is jailbroken doesn't change the fact that you paid full price for it and Apple have counted you as a customer!

    2. OrsonX
      Thumb Down

      Title Viol...., what Optional?

      MUST contain letters & or Numbers*

      *apparently not

      I'll just down vote myself in advance.

  12. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Can I patent the fact that you require eyes to view these devices?

  13. EyeCU

    Way to go Germany

    Your Judiciary is now a laughing stock worldwide. You have allowed a company to claim they own the rectangle.

    1. Thomas 4
      IT Angle

      I'm sorry sir

      But we must now gouge out your eyes as Apple have now patented the iBall as a viewing device.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. This is akin to one car manufacturer suing another due to their car looks similar to ours (it has wheels, steering wheel, engine and everything!!).

      1. lee7

        Somebody voted this down - why?

        Re: @Thomas4:

        It was funny, firstly, and secondly attacked Apple for their outrageous behaviour. I wonder if the person who down-voted would care to explain why.

        I wonder if their email address contains ""

        1. Handle This

          @ lee7

          I am now compelled to downvote you for the sake of symmetry in this thread. You brought it on yourself.

    3. Curtis

      And you guys say that AMERICAN judges are fooked in the head. Well, they are, just not as badly as this German judge.

  14. thesykes
    Thumb Down

    The SII?

    Have Apple seen the SII? From the comparisons I've seen of it next to an iPhone 4, there's no way anyone could say it's a copy.

    Is the problem that the yet-to-be-announced-but-in-production iPhone 5 doesn't stack up favourably against it and they need to get it banned? Maybe not, but, makes you wonder why they'd go after a product that clearly isn't a copy of the iPhone.

  15. nichomach

    Seriously? Smooth simple surfaces are banned unless you buy them with a fruit logo on? I look forward to mullioned windscreens and frosted cockpit canopies, as well as phones faced with glass splinters....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe you shoulda been looking at an iPad instead of the iPhone... :p

      1. thesykes


        The SII is a phone, not a tablet, are you saying the SII is a rip-off of the iPad?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I mistakenly thought the article was about the Galaxy Tab.

          1. thesykes

            last paragraph re the Japanese court case...

    2. MacGyver

      You would think Samsung tried to sell it as the "iPadd, complete with Appp store" from all the bitching going on. Hell it's not the same size, isn't the same color, doesn't run IOS, doesn't have that stupid button at the bottom, and doesn't use their stupid Apple port on the bottom.

      It really is because it is a smooth rounded rectangle.

      I'll bet Samsung originally designed it with sharp corners and spikes all over the surface, but found that it didn't function well after being covered in blood, so they decided they were going to have to figure out why Apple's iPad users didn't complain about the blood, and discovered that smooth, non-sharp surfaces were the key. Then they ripped off that design. (the same design as every dinner tray ever made)

      Samsung, forget the Galaxy Tab, release that damn TX100 already. Do you not want my money? Added bonus, the TX100 looks nothing like a iDouch.

  16. Quijibo

    I'm so sick of this rubbish.

    "I'm sorry you look like Danny Devito, I'm going to sue you and therefore you cannot walk the streets of America."

    This stinks of Apple running scared because of another company. All the fan boys that support this product are so brain washed they think this OK. Fast forward 10 years when people have had enough of Apples rubbish and another company will be doing the same, they will be crying a different tune.

    No wonder this civilization hasn't progressed, we've clearly found a utopian existence and shun those who dare to make even the slightest improvement (even if it resembles the original). Henry Ford would be worth a mint now, all those 4 wheeled contraptions with a 5th wheel for steering driving around.

    "They resemble what I created, they're only faster, more sutied to the current change in technology and cheaper. This can't be right"

  17. Colin Mackay 1

    The more...

    The more I read about the Samsung Galaxy Tab being banned from sale, the more I want one. I suspect I'm not the only one.

    1. vhmoura

      that is why i got a galaxy s II and will purchase a galaxy tab too!!! :)

      1. nsld

        Me to

        Got the S2 when it came out as her indoors has the S1 and I prefered that to the Jobsian offering.

        Same goes with the Samsung tab, its clearly better than the Apple product for them to be putting so much energy into litigation so will be getting one of those as well.

        Probably not the result Apple wanted

        1. Intractable Potsherd

          I'm not sure I have a use for a tablet ...

          ... but there is a strong urge in me to buy one just to spite Apple.

          Is it wrong to hate a company so much?

    2. King Jack Silver badge

      I mostly agree...but

      Not Henry Ford. Mr Benz would have sued him, as it was he who invented the motor car.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        King Jack

        Still kinda wrong though ain't yah! Benz designed a vehicle most recognised as the start of the modern motor car..... plenty of other 4 wheeled (and 3 wheeled) contraptions on the roads before the first benz hit the road.

        1. King Jack Silver badge

          You might be right. But we all know the little man has no power to sue the big boys, so my comment stands.

          1. DF118
            Thumb Up

            Ok so Ford didn't invent the car...

            But neither did Apple invent the tablet.

            Seems like OP made a fairly accurate comparison to me.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Richard Trevithick

              Ok, so it was steam powered, and some people think it was a train, but before there was lots of tracks to run it on it was a car, four wheels some way of steering it, lots of CO2 out the exhaust. The revenue from that copyright case should fund Cornish independence nicely...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Evolution not revolution

        That makes Ford a better example. Touchscreen tablets have been around for a long time. Apple merely offered a slightly better one when technology and society made it both possible and acceptable.

      3. John Bailey

        Ahh... But..

        Richard Trevithick would have got them both from his grave. His was steam powered, but he was first to make a road going motorised vehicle.

    3. ChrisB 2

      I'm a big Apple user, I like its products and they work for me.

      But this is crazy. Apple should (and will) protect it's IP but protecting the looks of something just because there's similar (not identical/fake) out there. Nuts. Besides anything else simple ergonomics would tend to move tablet design down the iPad-a-like route.

      Wonder if Bang & Olufsen might consider suing Apple for use of snazzy glass and aluminium designs?


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