As you may recall, back in September Apple successfully petitioned a German court to block the sale of the Samsung Galaxy 10.1 on the grounds that the tablet infringed on patents held by Apple – basically, Apple says that Samsung copied the iPad.
The victory in Apple’s global patent war against Samsung seems to have been short-lived, at least as far as the Germany battleground goes. After the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was blocked in Germany, Samsung quickly moved to roll out a non-patent-infringing version, the Galaxy Tab 10.1N.
Apple insisted that the “new” tablet still infringed on their patents, and once again took the matter to German courts to block the sale of the newer version – but it appears that they lost. On Thursday, a judge rejected Apple’s claims, issuing a preliminary ruling that the new Galaxy Tab 10.1N no longer infringes on Apple’s intellectual property.
“According to the court’s assessment, the defendant has moved away sufficiently from the legally protected design,” Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said in court on Thursday (via Reuters).
Again, the ruling in Germany is only preliminary, so Samsung will have to wait until the final verdict, which is expected to happen February 9, before they start celebrating. Still, one might imagine that Samsung can’t help but be excited right about now, especially after their recent victory over Apple in Australia.