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German Court Clears Samsung’s Latest Tablet

(CN) - Samsung's reworked Galaxy Tab 10.1 no longer appears to infringe on Apple's intellectual property, a German court ruled this week in a preliminary assessment.

Concluding that the Korean tablet violated an iPad-related European Community Design, the Duesseldorf court barred sales of the product with a preliminary injunction for Apple in August. Apple's claim centered on the device's appearance, rather than operation.

Samsung redesigned its tablet for the German market only, calling it the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. But Apple challenged that version as well, hoping to exclude Samsung from Europe's largest market.

The court will make its final ruling on Feb. 9, but the preliminary decision does not bode well for Apple, which has recently faced setbacks in the German court system. Motorola, which is pursuing its own patent infringement claims, won a preliminary injunction last week that blocks Apple from selling its iPhone and iPad devices in the country. Apple has announced plans to appeal that decision, issued by the Mannheim Regional Court.

Samsung and Apple are embroiled in more than 30 patent battles around the world. Incidentally, Apple is Samsung's second largest consumer of chips and displays, with iPhone components alone accounting for 4 percent of Samsung's $142 billion of annual sales.

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