Court bans Samsung tablet from sale in Europe

Samsung says it's "disappointed" with a German court's ruling that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 infringes on Apple's patent.

Story highlights

  • Appeals court in Germany rules the Galaxy Tab 7.7 infringes on Apple's iPad patent
  • The tablet is now banned from sale across the European Union
  • The Galaxy Tab 10.1N is allowed to be sold, however
  • The original Galaxy Tab 10.1 had been banned, so Samsung changed its look

Samsung has taken another hit from Apple in Europe, thanks to an appeals court in Germany.

The court ruled on Tuesday morning that the Galaxy Tab 7.7 indeed infringes upon Apple's design patent for the iPad, and banned it from sale across the EU.

The Galaxy Tab 10.1N, however, managed to make its way through the cracks, with the court allowing it to be sold in Germany.

The Galaxy Tab 7.7 had already been banned from sale in Germany thanks to a decision from a lower court in late 2011. At that time, the court treated Samsung Germany as a separate entity from Samsung in Korea; the latter was able to continue selling the tablet throughout the rest of Europe.

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This was reversed on Tuesday when the Duesseldorf High Court decided that Samsung Germany was instead a local branch of the Korean company, resulting in the EU-wide ban. According to a statement released by the court, the Galaxy Tab 7.7 infringes upon Apple's registered EU Community Design for the iPad.

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But Samsung didn't lose entirely. The appeals court also upheld a previous ruling that the Galaxy Tab 10.1N — the larger of Samsung's two tablets — had indeed been sufficiently changed from the original Tab 10.1 design, therefore differentiating it enough from the iPad.

The original Tab 10.1 had been banned in Germany last year for looking too much like Apple's iPad Community Design; Samsung eventually changed the look of the front and slapped an "N" on the device's name, qualifying it for sale in Germany.

Samsung vowed to continue fighting Apple, despite its win with the Tab 10.1N.

"Samsung is disappointed with the court's ruling. We will continue to take all available measures, including legal action, to protect our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple's claims to ensure our products remain available to consumers throughout the European Union," the company said in a statement.

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