A German court upheld its preliminary sales ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 on Friday, the latest move in an international patent battle between Samsung and Apple.
"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," said Justice Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann in court, according to a Bloomberg news report.
"For the informed customer there remains the predominant overall impression that the device looks" like the design Apple has patented in Europe, Brueckner-Hofmann said, according to the report.
The court decision is a win for Apple, which is suing Samsung in Germany over complaints that the Korean consumer electronics maker is infringing on a number of Apple-owned patents with the Galaxy Tab tablets and Galaxy phone lines. Apple accuses Samsung of also copying the look and feel of the iPad and iPhone with its Galaxy products.
The German court first granted Apple a sales ban request against the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in August and last week, the court also places a temporary injunction against the sale of the unreleased Galaxy Tab 7.7 there as well. Samsung told Bloomberg that it will appeal the ruling.
Apple and Samsung are also locked in patent battles over phones and tablets in other European countries, as well as Japan, the U.S. and Australia.
Apple won a sales injunction against Samsung's Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and Ace smartphones last month in 30 European countries. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been voluntarily placed under a sales stoppage in Australia.
While the two tech giants are rivals, and suing each other in courtrooms around the world, they are also business partners from time to time as well. Samsung makes displays and internal components for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
– Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: an Apple iPad 2, left, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 at a store in The Hague, Netherlands, last month. Credit: Robert Vos/EPA