The massive intellectual property battle between Apple and Samsung has been slowed to a crawl by procedural battles and grandstanding in the US, but things are moving right along in the rest of the world: a German district court has just issued a preliminary injunction preventing Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in every EU nation except the Netherlands. It's not actually a patent issue, but rather one of trademarked design: Apple has an EU design registration on the iPad, and it says Samsung is illegally copying that design with the Galaxy Tab. German courts are relatively quick to grant injunctions in IP cases, so this isn't some huge victory for Apple, and it's not permanent yet: Samsung can still appeal the injunction, and it's still possible it can win the German case in general as well. But that'll take some time -- time the Tab 10.1 won't be on sale in the EU.

The injunction is effective immediately, although Apple will have to do some paperwork to enforce it in each EU member nation. As for the Netherlands, it has a slightly different set of laws in place, so Apple's had to file a separate case there. Apple's also filed for an injunction against Samsung's entire product lineup in the US, although the hearing on that isn't scheduled until October.

I'm no expert on German or EU law, so these are really just the broad strokes -- Florian Mueller is in Germany and has more on this case, as well as the EU design registration, if you're interested.

Update: Samsung just sent us an official statement on the ruling, saying it's disappointed and will appeal.

Samsung is disappointed with the court's decision and we intend to act immediately to defend our intellectual property rights through the ongoing legal proceedings in Germany and will continue to actively defend these rights throughout the world.

The request for injunction was filed with no notice to Samsung, and the order was issued without any hearing or presentation of evidence from Samsung.

We will take all necessary measures to ensure Samsung's innovative mobile communications devices are available to customers in Europe and around the world.

This decision by the court in Germany in no way influences other legal proceedings filed with the courts in Europe and elsewhere.