Samsung still not allowed to sell original Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany

Samsung's altered Galaxy Tab 10.1N is not affected by the continued sales ban

Samsung Electronics is still not allowed to sell the original version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany after it lost an appeal at the higher regional court in Düsseldorf, a spokesman at the court said on Tuesday.

The decision follows the verdict and ban in Düsseldorf's regional court last year. The design of Samsung's tablet is too close to Apple's registered Community Design, according to the German courts.

The ban also covers the Galaxy Tab 8.9, and it can't be appealed, the spokesman at the court said.

Samsung is disappointed with today's decision by the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court to uphold the sales ban for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany, a spokeswoman at Samsung said via email. However, she said, today's ruling is of little factual relevance due to the new model Galaxy Tab 10.1 N.

After the ban in the regional court, Samsung developed the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which has an altered design and is available in German stores.

Apple filed a motion to block the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, as well. But, in December, a judge at the district court in Düsseldorf issued a preliminary ruling that the Samsung tablet is now sufficiently different. So it is possible that there will be no ban this time, according to a spokesman at the court.

A final verdict, which can be appealed, will be handed down on Feb. 9.

One of Apple's core legal claims against Samsung is that the Korean company has copied the design of Apple's products. Apple has over and over argued that 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. That message was reiterated on Tuesday.

Getting courts to agree with that has not been easy for Apple. After early Apple victories in Germany and Australia, Samsung tablets are now available in both countries. Last week, a Dutch court also sided with Samsung on the look of its tablets.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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