The ruling by a German court blocking sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe may spell very bad news for the future of Windows tablets. Read Apple's documents, and it appears that Apple could get just about any tablet banned, including tablets based on Windows 8 when they appear.
Based on papers filed by Apple, the German court granted a preliminary injunction against sales of Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all European Union nations, except for the Netherlands, where there's a separate suit on tap.
The heart of Apple's claim is that Samsung violated Apple's Community Design 000181607-0001. The document protects the design of the iPad for the European Union.
If you take a look at that document, though, you see just how broad that document is, and how it looks as if it could apply to almost any tablet. As Nicole Scott points out in her blog, the drawings in the document are so generic that they look like virtually any tablet.
If Apple does eventually target Windows tablets, it will wait until Windows 8 tablets appear, because there are so few current Windows tablets, and those that exist have gained no market share.
Motorola may be worried about the injunction as well, because Apple could target the Motorola Xoom next. The Xoom, though, is bulkier than the Galaxy Tab 10.1, and Apple might have a harder time getting an injunction against it.
Apple also has a suit against Samsung in the U.S. I wouldn't count on the company getting an injunction here, though. As intellectual property activist and German citizen Florian Mueller writes on his blog, "German intellectual property law is much stricter than U.S. intellectual property law with respect to injunctions."