Apple forces Samsung to take away the Galaxy Tab 7.7 from IFA

 5 Sep 2011 - By Omar Yesid Mariño+
 omar@myddnetwork.com

Believe it or not, Galaxy Tab 7.7, the Samsung tablet, suddenly disappeared from the stand of the multinational conglomerate corporation at the IFA in Berlin, after two days of the official introduction. During the previous days of this industrial exhibition, the model was exhibited with a sign saying: “Not for sale in Germany”. But now even the articles and pages about this gadget have been removed from the German version of the Samsung website.

Samsung Galaxy 2011

The “Not for sale in Germany” sign was a consequence of the judicial complaints that Apple filed against Samsung in Germany due to the likenesses between the design of the Tab 10.1 tablet and the iPad.

In August, the first verdict (ratified on September 2) from a Düsseldorf court had banned the sales of the Samsung tablet in every single country of the European Union. However, it was later explained that the court only had jurisdiction to prohibit its sale in Germany. The ban will be effective until September 9 when a definitive verdict will be given.

According to FOSS Patents, a blog specialized in patents, the sudden removal of a smaller version of this tablet (7.7 inches, which is not an available size of the iPad) could be interpreted as a indication that maybe  Steve Jobs’ company have extended its complaints to the whole family of tablets made by the Asian giant.

Besides the gadget itself, posters and any other commercial ad or promotional announcement (regarding the tablet) have been also removed at the Berlin exhibition.

Some days ago before this move, Samsung had introduced new tablet models, such as the Note, with a medium size (between a smartphone and a tablet). And the Korean company has already announced that these models won’t be available for sale in United States.

The Samsung legal issues related to its tablets are additional problems besides the ban to sell three smartphones in Europe due to alleged patents violations. This ban was imposed by an international court.

(Check a great video of a comparison between the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the iPad 2 – By PhoneArena.com)

The multinational has officially  confirmed that the decision of the tribunal will be respected. “The product is not on sale yet but we’ve decided to respect the court order,” said James Chung, a Samsung spokesman. Consequently, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 is now an absent partaker at the IFA. Too bad!

In addition, another Samsung spokesman said that they think this verdict  “severely limits consumer choice in Germany”  and, for that reason, Samsung would pursue all options, including the legal options, to defend its intellectual property rights. So, this case is becoming extra prolonged… and quite interesting. 🙂

And Germany is not the only country where Samsung is facing these limitations. Under huge legal pressure, Samsung has decided not to launch its new tablets in the extremely important United States market while the South Korean company is going to delay the introduction of the Tab 10.1 in Australia, at least until the end of September 2011.  On the other hand, a Dutch tribunal has also ordered, at least temporally, a partial suspension of some Samsung smartphones. Wow!

Tech legal battle… and fairness

According to BBC, Samsung pointed out that the company will continue to fight in order to allow German (and European) consumers to have access to its new products. And, in point of fact, the users would be benefited if they have more options other than buying the iPad; of course, as usual, here the problem is not about choosing the best situation for common people. The issue is related to money. If there are more choices in the market, Apple will make less money for sure. Yeah, this is a cynical world. Users are a secondary thing. Money is the main thing.

Anyway, the courts have to take into account the current patent laws and the recent decisions favoring to Apple are understandable. But, the point is that patents world is far to be perfect or at least fair. There are a lot of absurd and very generic patents that obviously are favoring a reduced number of people in terms of money, reducing the options for consumers and causing higher prices due to lack of competition. It happens in the pharmaceutical industry, and sadly, it’s also happening in the technological world.

And that is producing a sort of craziness in the industry, with companies suing each other. As a sample of this patent absurdity, Reuters recently published an infographic detailing claimants and defenders in the mobile industry with patent-related suits. See it below!

mobile patent suits

*** Sigh*** .

Is now the time for a change in the patents mechanism to create a better approach of a collaborative industry where the main focus is the user and not the money? Absolutely. But first, maybe we need to reform this crazy world where “greed is good” and many people are living in tough times while  big companies often have more money than countries themselves. Companies that, of course, use patents to make even more money and create greedy monopolies.






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