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German court bans Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Europe, denies Apple appeal in Tab 10.1N case

In yet another twist in the seemingly never-ending Apple versus Samsung saga, a Düsseldorf court has handed down a ruling that bans Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 7.7 throughout the European Union while denying a German ban on the redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1N.

The decision, as reported by Web Wereld, finds that the Tab 7.7 infringes on Apple patents dating back to 2004 and should be banned throughout the EU, after first having been banned in Germany last year. The Düsseldorf appeals court denied Samsung’s claim that the injunction against the 7in slate should only apply to Germany.

As for the Tab 10.1, though the original tablet was ruled to be in breach of Apple patents, the modified 10.1N version prevailed in court and Apple’s appeal to the contrary has been rejected. The court affirmed that Samsung’s modified Tab 10.1N does not violate Apple design patents.

“Samsung welcomes the court’s ruling which confirms our position that the GALAXY Tab 10.1N does not infringe Apple’s intellectual property and does not infringe laws against unfair competition,” the company said of the ruling. “Should Apple continue to make legal claims based on such a generic design patent, design innovation and progress in the industry could be restricted.”

However, the ruling is a potentially problematic one, as a British high court recently ruled decisively in Samsung’s favour in the patent dispute.

In the 9 July decision, Judge Colin Birss found that Samsung’s tablets are “not as cool as” Apple’s iPad and therefore do not violate its design patents. Accordingly, Judge Birss ordered Apple to formally and publicly admit that Samsung’s tablets do not infringe on its intellectual property.

In the US, both Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and its Galaxy Nexus smartphone have been banned ahead of a trial set to kick off on 30 July.

Secret talks between Apple CEO Tim Cook and high-level Samsung executives ahead of the trial reportedly ended with no resolution, suggesting the battle is likely to get worse before it gets any better.