Intellectual Property

Insights
Smit & Van Wyk Patent, Trademark & Registered Designs

Apple wins Samsung battle in German Court

Apple is officially the only company that can make and sell minimalist rectangular tablets in Germany. A trade court in Dusseldorf, Germany has found Samsung guilty of violating Apple’s patented iPad design. Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann remarked upon delivering the verdict that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, and that other designs are possible.”

Apple filed a patent on the design of the iPad with European Union intellectual property agency in Alicante, Spain. The iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab 10.1 rectangular faces are different and the Samsung device has no physical face buttons, but Apple owns sole rights to “minimalist” tablet designs.

According to the patent

  1. A “minimalist” design is any thin rectangular tablet, with few buttons on its face.
  2. This ruling indicates that Apple has sole rights to make thin rectangular tablets in Germany.

Competitors would have to

  1. Have plenty of physical buttons on the face
  2. Be thicker or heavier than the iPad
  3. Any shape but rectangular

The German court made it clear that the ruling was based solely on the design and had nothing to do with trademarks or patents for technology. Samsung is seeking an expedited appeal in Oberlandesgericht, Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, that could take 2 to 6 months.

Posted on 14 September 2011
Home / Intellectual Property Insights / Apple wins Samsung battle in German Court
Patents in Africa, Trademarks in Africa

Smit & Van Wyk provides a full range of Intellectual Property legal services in all African countries where protection is available. We can provide information on the filing requirements in each of the African countries and can also offer information on the various regional IP organisations such as ARIPO, OAPI and the Madrid protocol. We work with a network of trusted and knowledgeable agents to develop the best possible solution to each of our clients’ needs for trade marks, designs and patents in Africa.

MIP IP Stars   WTR   Global Chambers   Lexology  I AM PATENT   WWL