Samsung has remained very confident in the face of legal actions by Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) around the world, alleging infringements of its iPhone and iPad products. It’s launched counter-suits and has even seen some rulings in its favor. But today it had a very clear setback in Germany. A court in Dusseldorf has upheld an original ban on the sale and promotion of its newest, large-screen tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the country.
But it’s not all bad news: the judge also confirmed that the ban will not be extended to the rest of Europe, as initially requested by Apple.
The original injunction was ordered on August 9, and today’s ruling was the result of an appeal by Samsung, which had successfully also managed to reduce the ban at the time to Germany alone, and not the rest of the EU.
The court that heard the case today is the same one that heard the case last week, in which Apple managed to get Samsung’s newest tablet, a 7.7-inch screened model, banned for sale in promotion in Germany as well.
That was a particularly bad bit of PR for Samsung, because it had just announced the tablet globally and had featured the tablet as a prominent part of its display at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, Europe’s largest.
Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann, the judge presiding over the court today, laid out the key reason for her ruling: the device just looks too much like the iPad.
“The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalistic design isn’t the only technical solution to make a tablet computer, other designs are possible,” she said (via Bloomberg).
Samsung and Apple are still battling it out over infringements in courts from Australia to the U.S. (and everything in between).
Most recently, a case in Japan raises questions over whether a requested injunction could impact the launch of the 10.1-inch device in Japan. In Australia, Samsung has delayed its release of the 10.1-inch tablet until the dispute can be settled, but in most of the other cases, no injunctions have yet to come into effect.