Samsung ratcheted up another victory in its legal battles with Apple over patent violations, when a German court refused to grant Apple a preliminary sales ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone.
Apple can perhaps take consolation in the fact that, although the Munich Regional Court rejected its notion for the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, a Dusseldorf appeals court declined to overturn a ruling that bars Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale in Germany. Samsung developed the Galaxy Tab 10.1N to sidestep that ban on the original tablet.
According to Bloomberg, the patent contested before the Munich Regional Court concerns "technology that shows users when they reach the scrolling limit of the page." It is registered with the European Patent Office.
"This is a patent that a court can easily understand, as opposed to one raising complicated technical issues (which is what many patents related to wireless telecommunications standards do)," patent expert Florian Mueller wrote in a Feb. 1 posting on his FOSS Patents blog. "But such patents are also at a particularly high risk of being invalid, or of being considered likely to be invalid, which is what apparently happened here."
This is Apple's second legal foray in Germany against the Galaxy Nexus, he added.
Over the past few months, Apple has failed to have Samsung's Galaxy tablets and smartphones banned in the United States. Other courtroom battles continue all over the world, including Europe and Asia. Although Apple's iPad and iPhone claim a considerable portion of the tablet market, the devices are facing down an ever-broadening collection of rival Android devices from various manufacturers.
Before his death, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs called Google Android a "stolen product" and threatened to engage in "thermonuclear war" against it. His ire was so great that, in a meeting with former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, he reportedly refused to even consider any sort of Android-related payout. "I don't want your money," he said, according to Walter Isaacson's recent biography. "If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want."
Months after his passing, Apple continues that mission-but as the German courts demonstrate, the battle against Android manufacturers is capable of producing a mix of victory and defeat.