The Galaxy Tab 7.7 has been banned in Germany for a while. Now, though, the 7.7" tablet is officially banned throughout the whole of the EU. Previously Apple was able to enforce a ban on the smaller of the Tabs because it has proven in German courts that it owns the design IP for black rectangles in reference to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. In Germany, Apple can enforce this injunction against the Tab 7.7 due to a principle known as "kerngleicher Verstoß", or "violation sharing the same core".
According to a press release just sent out by Amazon, the company's Appstore will be headed to Europe this summer as rumored, though only to five countries to start. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy will all be getting access to Amazon's Appstore in the coming months, and developers can head over to the App Distribution Portal to get started on certifying their apps for distribution in those countries right now.
Not a bad week for German Android fans. First on the map in Europe with the recently-reviewed LG Optimus 4X HD, and now the release of books for sale in the Google Play store. The soccer team's not doing too badly, either.
Posted today on its Google+ account, Google Play announced the availability of book purchases effective immediately in Germany, including plenty of German-language bestsellers.
As promised by LG back in May, its top of the line quad-core Optimus 4X HD is now seeing release in Europe. First seen at MWC in February, this is set to take on the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X for the favor of powerhouse-craving phone shoppers throughout the continent. The device is now available for purchase from Amazon DE in either black or white, both close to the €500 mark.
Apple is causing more mischief over in Germany today, having received an injunction from a Munich Regional Court against phone manufacturer Motorola for utilizing slide-to-unlock style lockscreen methods patented by Apple. Motorola intends to appeal the ruling. The basic point to take away is this: the court ruled that Apple's patent on the concept of moving a tracked image from left to right in order to unlock a phone is valid, and it seems likely that every slide-to-unlock implementation on Android would be infringing in their eyes.
The ridiculous and wasteful patent war continues, with a German court confirming that Apple has filed two new suits against Samsung. The first is against 10 phones including the SGSII, and the second against 5 tablets. Details are light at the moment, but evidently Apple is using these two (unsurprisingly very vague) patents in the smartphone suit:
Yes, seriously - their patents are basically for a shape. Readers familiar with the current lawsuit situation in the tech world know the situation is violently out of control, and close followers of AP have heard my thoughts on just how hypocritical and ridiculous Apple is.
If you haven't heard, Germany has pretty much become the hotspot for smartphone and tablet patent litigation. Most recently, HTC has been hitting headlines in its ongoing battle against IPCom, an intellectual property firm. IPCom claims that HTC's smartphones violate a number of its patents in the realm of 3G GSM technology. HTC says that the last time it made a phone which might have violated those patents was in 2009, and that it has since developed a workaround which does not infringe on IPCom's patents.
A court in Mannheim, Germany today held a preliminary hearing in a patent dispute between Motorola Mobility and Apple Sales International (a European Apple distribution subsidiary), and it seems like Apple's on the ropes.
While the hearing didn't discuss the particular merits of Motorola's patent infringement claim against Apple, the presiding judge issued substantial blows to Apple's defense by indicating that he believed the patent-in-suit was ripe for trial. The judge also seemed to agree with Motorola's reading of that patent (also known as "construction claims") in important ways that would allow it a broader scope of applicability at trial.
Now, this all based on one German online retailer (where imports of the Tab 10.1 were banned), but it's very interesting nonetheless. It appears that a new version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been launched in Germany, called the Tab 10.1N. The difference? So far, all we see is a re-designed bezel and the fact that it's now shipping with Android 3.2. Take a look at this comparison shot from Mobiflip:
The Tab 10.1N is above, and the old Tab 10.1 is below.
Google has made good on its promise to expand carrier billing for the Android Market internationally today, introducing the feature to customers on various carriers in three countries. This is great news for consumers, and even better news for developers.
South Korean users on SK Telecom and KT Corporation, UK users on Vodafone UK, and German users on Vodafone DE will all be receiving access to direct carrier billing in the coming weeks.