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Tuesday, January 31, 2012, 07:07 am PT (10:07 am ET)

Court upholds ban of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany on new grounds

A German appeals court on Tuesday sided with Apple in upholding an earlier ruling banning Samsung from selling the original versions of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 in Europe's biggest economy.

The decision by the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (DHRC) upholds a ruling from last September but does so based on Germany's unique unfair competition law rather than the earlier court's finding that Samsung committed a violation of a Community design.

As such, Apple won't have success replicating the decision in other European countries, according to legal analyst Florian Mueller, as Samsung succeeded in defeating design-right claims by Apple that could have contributed to a broader, more material ruling covering most of the European Union.

Tuesday's ruling applies to both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and smaller GalaxyTab 8.9 but does not affect the GalaxyTab 10.1N — a modified version of the infringing tablet that Samsung concocted in an attempt to bypass the German ban. That model remains on sale ahead of a formal ruling on the matter by the DHRC expected on February 9th.

Samsung is just one of several mobile device makers that Apple is fighting in courts across the globe over alleged intellectual property violations. It has also sued electronics maker in the United States, other parts of Europe, Australia, Japan and Korea.


Samsung's modified Galaxy Tab 10.1N seen on the left compared to the original model


For its part, Samsung fired back with counter-suits claiming Apple's devices infringe on three of its patents but has so far lost rulings on two of the three, with the final patent to be addressed in a March 2nd ruling.