Samsung has been ordered to stop selling the latest iteration of its tablet PC, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, in Europe after Apple obtained a temporary injunction.

The tablet PC, which went on sale in the UK last week, will now be removed from shelves in countries across the EU except the Netherlands.

The Regional Court of Dusseldorf granted the preliminary injunction after Apple claimed the tablet PCs infringes Apple patents for the iPad and the iPhone. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a similar size to Apple's iPad 2 and is slightly thinner than Apple's tablet PC.

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas," Apple said.

Samsung, which recently agreed not to sell the tablet PC in Australia after Apple launched legal action over there as well, has revealed it will appeal the decision. The appeal is expected to be heard in four weeks time but until then the injunction will stand.

"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 company said.

"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."

Apple has also launched separate legal action to stop the sale of the tablet PC in the Netherlands and the US.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 features a 10.1in WXGA TFT LCD touchscreen and is powered by a 1GHz dual core application processor, with the latest NVIDIA Tegra chip. Running Google Android Honeycomb, version 3.1 of the operating system aimed specifically at tablet PCs and available in both Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi and 3G versions, Samsung says the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 supports network speeds of up to 21Mbps and offers reduced data transfer times.

However, Dixons Retail, which is currently stocking the Wi-Fi only version of the tablet in its stores including PC World revealed it has "had no legal instruction to remove the Samsung Galaxy from sale, so all calls should be referred to Samsung direct". Although, the retailer did reveal that due to the injunction it was holding off sending out review samples of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.