Bloomberg reports on a German court ruling which held that Apple will not likely achieve a ban on the Samsung Galaxy 10.1N tablet, a modified version of the Galaxy Tab that was released after Samsung’s original 10.1 Galaxy Tab device was banned in Germany for infringing upon the design of the iPad.
The Dusseldorf court that banned sales of the Galaxy 10.1 on Sept. 9 is unlikely to grant Apple an injunction against the Galaxy 10.1N, Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said at a hearing today. Samsung has changed the device’s design sufficiently to distance it from the iPad, she said, adding that the view is preliminary. A ruling was scheduled for Feb. 9.
“Consumers are well aware that there is an original and that competitors try to use similar designs, so buyers are vigilant when looking at products,” Brueckner-Hofmann said. “We don’t think that someone buys a Samsung (005930) to make his table neighbor at the coffee house believe he owns an iPad.”
Apple has faced setbacks in its legal fight against Samsung, its closest rival in tablet computers, since its initial September success in Germany. The iPad maker failed to convince an Australian court on Dec. 9 to reinstate a ban in that country and two days ago, a Dusseldorf court voiced doubts about the reach of Apple’s European Union design right that was the basis for the company’s Sept. 9 injunction.
The new Samsung tablet has thicker edges and the front screen has speakers which distinguish it from the iPad, the court said. There is also a broad Samsung label that ensures consumers aren’t confused, according to the judges.