Interdiction of selling of technological goods by means of design rights


On September 9th, 2011, the Court of Appeal of Düsseldorf forbade the selling in Germany of the  GALAXY TAB. 10.1 tablets of the company Samsung as a result of an infringement action of the American company Apple.

This interdiction is not ground on a violation of patent rights but on the infringement of a Community design.

Indeed, the German judge estimated that incriminated tablets of the company Samsung   infringed the rights of the company Apple on the Community design No. 000181607-0001.

In spite of this extremely simplistic representation, the Court considered the design endowed of a distinctive character and that “the minimalist design of Apple is not the only technical solution to do a tablet. Other designs are possible”.

Thus, the Court of Appeal of Düsseldorf confirmed its judgement by injunction of last August, but limited its scope to Germany only.

Indeed, this previous judgement by injunction was destinated to the European Union in its entirety.

A priori, this new decision is really favorable to Apple in the light of the extreme simplicity of its Community design. However, the limitation of its scope compels Apple to file action for infringement in all the other member States of the European Union in order to forbid definitely the Samsung tablet. 

Nevertheless, similar interdictions in four or five Community States should be sufficiant to stop the arrival of the GALAXY TAB. 10.1 on the European market.

Thus, an infringement action of Apple against this tablet is actually in hand before the Court of First Instance of Paris.

Moreover, a decision regarding the infringement of Apple rights by this tablet has also to be delivered in U.S.A. in a few weeks and similar complaints are filed in several European countries concerning another Samsung tablet, the GALAXY TAB. 7.7.