Apple has won an important victory in its patent war against Samsung Electronics by obtaining a preliminary injunction barring the sale of Samsung's Galaxy tablet in nearly all European Union member states.
Samsung has been locked in a legal war with Apple over smartphones and tablets patents in the US, Australia, South Korea and Japan since April this year.
Apple alleges that Samsung's Galaxy mobile phones and tablet computers have copied design elements of the iPhone and iPad.
The German court order barring the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 throughout the EU except the Netherlands, where Apple has a separate lawsuit underway, is the second setback for Samsung after similar lawsuits delayed the Australian launch of its latest Galaxy tablet, according to New Zealand reports.
The court found that Apple was likely to win at a full trial of the issues that Samsung is infringing on Apple's design rights.
Samsung said in a statement that it was disappointed with the German court's decision, claiming that Apple's request for an injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung and that the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.
"We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world," the statement said.
Observers say if Samsung is violating Apple's IP rights, Apple may enjoy further success in blocking the sales of disputed devices.