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The aspects of unfair competition within the Apple v Samsung litigation in Germany

Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf, Urteil vom 31.01.2012, I-20 U 175/11, Landgericht Düsseldorf, Urteil vom 09.02.2012, 14c O 292/11 and Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf, Urteil vom 24.07.2012, 20 U 35/12

Marc D Mimler

Keywords: iPad; Samsung; Apple; tablet computers; unfair competition law; Germany

The litigation between Apple and Samsung on alleged infringement of intellectual property (IP) rights has reached a global scale. Apart from issues relating to patent infringement the litigation also concerned whether Samsung's tablet computers would infringe Apple's iPad design. In Germany, the courts of Düsseldorf were called to decide on these issues.

The Higher Court of Düsseldorf found that the Galaxy 10.1 tablet computer did not infringe a registered Community design held by Apple but was exploiting the iPad's reputation, which violates rules of unfair competition law.

Samsung then modified the design and intended to market this 10.1N version of the Galaxy tablet. Apple again took action but neither the Regional Court nor the appeal to the Higher Regional Court found the redesigned version to violate unfair competition rules.

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