Apple seeks to block sale of modified Samsung Galaxy tablet in Germany

A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22

Apple is seeking to stop Samsung Electronics selling the modified Galaxy Tab 10.1 that it released in Germany in an effort to dodge an earlier injunction obtained by Apple, a spokesman for the company said.

A district court in Düsseldorf blocked German sales of the original version of Samsung's 10-inch tablet in September, after Apple convinced the judge Samsung's product looked too much like the iPad.

To circumvent that ruling, Samsung modified the appearance of the tablet to create the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which Apple's latest motion is aimed at. A hearing is scheduled for Dec. 22 in the Düsseldorf court.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1N has a new bezel and speakers on the front of the device, and Samsung is confident that the company can demonstrate to the court its distinctiveness compared to the iPad, a Samsung spokesman said via email.

Samsung will take all available measures, including legal action, to ensure its tablet device remains available to consumers in Germany, he said.

The filing in Germany comes as Apple registered a loss in its legal battle with Samsung in Australia. That country's Federal Court has decided to overturn the injunction that banned the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia.

Samsung is so far the only maker of Android-based tablets that has managed to make a dent in the sales of Apple's iPad, although Amazon is expected to do the same with its Kindle Fire.

Samsung sold about 1.6 million Galaxy tablets during the third quarter this year, according to data from market research company Canalys. But Apple still dominates and sold over 11 million units in the same time period.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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