Samsung asks European trademark agency to void Apple’s iPad design rights

Samsung asks European trademark agency to void Apple’s iPad design rights

Samsung announced on Wednesday that it has filed a request with European Union agency Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) to void the design rights associated with Apple’s iPad tablet, as the Korean electronics giant seeks to gain the upper hand in its legal battle with the Cupertino-based iDevice maker.

The application was submitted to the Spain-based agency on August 9, confirming Korean media reports, and is thought to be one of the methods Samsung will use to try and lift sales restrictions on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Europe.

Samsung spokesman Kevin Jeong told reporters:

“Apple claims that the iPad’s design is exclusively its own, but the design existed long before the iPad.”

With legal battles still ongoing in Germany, The Netherlands, France, Asia and North America, Samsung has targeted the OHIM, an agency that oversees rights for trademarks and designs in EU countries. Companies can apply to see their products made a registered community design, which gives the company entity the exclusive rights to make, market, import or export products for a period of five years and can be renewed to a maximum of 25 years.

Apple filed for a registered community design for the iPad on May 2004, according to the OHIM website, providing it with exclusive rights to use the design and to prevent other companies from using the design anywhere within the European Union.

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