“Talk about David defeating Goliath: a small Spanish tablet computer maker named Nuevas Tecnologías y Energías Cataláfrom the Valencia region has successfully defended its Android-based tablet computers (marketed under the label N-TK) in court and is now seeking damages from Apple for a temporary seizure of its products by Spanish customs,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents. “Furthermore, the Spaniards are pursuing an antitrust complaint against Apple, alleging abusive anticompetitive behavior.”
“Apparently, Apple accused N-TK in November 2010 of “copying” the iPad and went straight for a customs ban. As a result, Spanish customs seized shipments from China containing N-TK’s Android-based tablet. The little company temporarily appeared on an EU-wide list of product pirates, but worst of all, after some correspondence between the two companies, Apple also brought criminal charges on December 9, 2010 (as it had previously threatened in writing),” Mueller writes. “Considering that this was not a case of product piracy but just a dispute over whether or not Apple has exclusive design rights covering N-TK’s Andoid-based products, I think it’s absolutely outrageous that Apple tried to attack its rival under criminal law. Having a commercial dispute is one thing, but going down the criminal law avenue is totally unreasonable.”
Mueller writes, “Now N-TK is suing Apple for compensation for monetary damages, lost profits, and also for ‘moral damages.’ I think Apple should use better judgment in the future. This story from Spain makes Apple look very bad.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Based on the info at hand, we have to agree with Mueller. Apple should use the avenues of justice as judiciously as possible lest the PR harm outweigh the benefits of legal actions. That said, any product that infringes on Apple’s patented IP and/or trade dress should be taken to court (via commercial, not criminal, actions) if all other avenues of remedy fail.
Lastly, NT-K’s 7-inch piece of crap “Pad A91” certainly looks, uh… “inspired” by Apple’s iPad and looks like a possible case of trade dress infringement, at least, if a case was adjudicated in the U.S.A.