This morning, as part of the ongoing Samsung v Apple patent litigation, the German court responsible for imposing a ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in the EU has backpedaled, temporarily lifting the injunction enjoining Samsung from distributing its flagship tablet in the European Union.

Why? It appears the German court decided that it may lack the authority to enjoin Samsung's Korean parent corporation under the EU's regulations regarding international jurisdiction. Long story short, Samsung Korea can sell all the Tab 10.1's in Europe that it wants, for now, except in Germany. Samsung Germany, however, cannot sell anywhere in the EU (this part of the injunction remains enforced). Because Samsung Germany is a separate legal entity under the applicable law, it meets the requirements of the EU's Article 82 for international jurisdiction.

According to FOSSPatents, the wording of the Article in question makes it unclear just whether or not Samsung Germany can be considered a separate subsidiary, as the German word used in the regulations to describe such entities has a less than crystal clear translation.

Essentially, the question is whether or not Samsung Korea and Samsung Germany constitute the same legal entity for the purposes of jurisdiction, and that's for the court to decide. If the injunction remains lifted, Apple would have to take Samsung Korea to court in Spain, where the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market for the EU is located, in order to seek an EU-wide injunction.

Though this may sound like a pretty basic jurisdictional issue for a court to be unsure on, even in the US we have yet to conclusively decide if a subsidiary can lead to jurisdiction over its parent corporation (the 9th Circuit says yes). Either way, the German court will come to a full decision on the issue of the injunction next week, and at this point it seems rather likely most of that injunction will be overturned.