On August 9, a German court issued a preliminary injunction, banning sale of Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the European Union, with exception of Netherlands. Unfortunately, Samsung had no idea any of this was happening until after the injunction had been issued, as is standard procedure in the German court system. Had the South Korea-based company known, they probably would have mentioned that the evidence Apple used to get the import ban (pictured at left) was pretty seriously flawed.
Apple filed the complaint under the EU’s “community design” provision enacted in 2002 and 2003, This is not a patent dispute, per se, but one of look and feel — does one product essentially immitate, or copy, another.
According to Dutch IDG publication Webwereld.nl, the image used for a side-by-side comparison between the iPad 2 and the GalTab 10.1 is either wrong or manipulated. On page 28 of Apple’s filing, the image of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been cropped and the image ratio has been tampered with. Samsung’s tablet measures in at 10.1in x 6.9in x 0.34in, while the iPad 2 sports dimensions of 9.5in x 7.31in x .34in.
Here’s the blown up picture:
“In Apple’s evidential image, the aspect ratio is 1.36 (8 percent wider than it should be), making the Galaxy Tab 10.1’s ‘overall appearance’ look ‘practically identical’ to the iPad 2 (which has an aspect ratio of 1.30). And that’s exactly the language Apple used in its complaint — also on page 28. We’ve seen our fair share of lawyer screw-ups lately, but this fairly shady, no?”
If you look at the tablets side-by-side (both in portrait position), you’d notice that the iPad 2 is a bit wider from side to side, but shorter in length. Based on the specified dimensions, the aspect ratio of the Tab would be 1.46. In Apple’s evidential image, the aspect ratio is 1.36 (8 percent wider than it should be), making the Galaxy Tab 10.1’s “overall appearance” look “practically identical” to the iPad 2 (which has an aspect ratio of 1.30). And that’s exactly the language Apple used in its complaint — also on page 28.
Copy of the Apple’s Motion:
Last week, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (aka SJVN) called the German court ruling “moronic”. He writes:
I want you to click on this PDF copy of (European] Community design no. 000181607-000. Now, take a long hard look at it. What do you see? I’ll tell you what I see, it’s a freaking tablet. Yes, it looks like an iPad. But, it looks just as much like every tablet that’s ever existed or ever will exist. It’s a tablet. Where have I seen this before? Why, I remember! I recall my distant cousin Nichelle Nichols, that’s Lieutenant Uhura of Star Trek to you, “using” a tablet on the Enterprise back in 1966…For all the excitement about the iPad, real tablets existed for decades before iPad mania came along.