Why has Germany blocked sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab?


Samsung's Defense and the Tablet Market Impact

Following the court rulings in Germany, Samsung isn't just sitting around waiting to see what happens with Apple's lawsuits. The South Korean company is boosting its resources and building its legal defense worldwide. In an interview on Sept. 23, 2011, Senior Vice President Lee Younghee, Samsung's head of global marketing and mobile communications, asserted that the company would be less passive moving forward. "We'll be pursuing our rights for this in a more aggressive way from now on," she said [source: Olsen].

Around the same time as the Lee interview, Verizon joined Samsung in its defense against Apple in California. Verizon filed a motion for leave, a request for permission from the court to file an amicus curiae brief in the case. That means that Verizon can submit information voluntarily which the court can consider as help in deciding the case. In its motion, Verizon states that the injunction against Samsung would "hinder Verizon Wireless in developing and deploying its next generation high-speed LTE network." It went on to state that job growth and emergency access to broadband networks would be hindered as well, making an impact on public policy goals [sources: Mueller, Murphy].

Verzion's motion came as a surprise to many people. Not only is Verizon the largest wireless career in the U.S., but it's also the first carrier other than AT&T to be granted status as a service provider for Apple iPhones and iPads. Industry experts declared that the goal of this move was to turn a series of skirmishes between Apple and Samsung into an all-out war to protect consumer choice in the wireless market [sources: Mueller, Murphy].

It's too early to tell what the long-term effects will be from this war, particularly in the up-and-coming tablet market. So far, Samsung and Apple are fighting it out in nine different countries in more than 20 court cases. With battlefields around the world, there's a good chance that these litigations will produce a wide range of results. Samsung has already launched or announced countersuits on its own patents in some of the same countries. Thus, as of this writing, this conflict has only just begun.

Because so much of the Apple-Samsung conflict centers around similarities in the look and feel of the tablets, we might expect a wider variety of tablet products in the coming years from all manufacturers. Besides that, only time will tell whether the tablet market will continue its growth and if either of these major players can avoid a loss in market share. For lots more on the Galaxy Tab ban in Germany and the Apple versus Samsung court battles, swipe over to the next page.

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Sources

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  • Peckham, Matt. "Germany: You're Banned Forever Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1." Techland. Time Inc. Sep. 9, 2011. (Sep. 23, 2011) http://techland.time.com/2011/09/09/germany-youre-banned-forever-samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1/
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