Samsung scores win in German patent battle with Apple over its tablets

A regional court in Munich deemed an Apple patent wasn't valid

Samsung Electronics is allowed to continue to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, after a regional court in Munich rejected an Apple motion to block sales of the product due to a patent violation, a spokesman at the court said.

The patent is related to "list scrolling and document translation, scaling, and rotation on a touch-screen display," according to the spokesman. But the court felt the patent didn't include anything new, and therefore wasn't valid, he said.

Apple can appeal the decision, but didn't reply to questions about its plans.

Apple's efforts to block the sale of Samsung's tablets resulted in a small victory earlier this week when the higher regional court in Düsseldorf said it still wasn't allowed to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Germany.

That decision is related to the design of Samsung's tablet and follows a verdict and ban in Düsseldorf's regional court last year.

After the ban in the regional court, Samsung developed the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which has an altered design and is available in German stores.

But Apple went after the new version in both Munich and Düsseldorf.

A verdict in Düsseldorf, which can also be appealed, will be handed down on Feb. 9.

But it isn't looking very good for Apple. In December, a judge at the district court in Düsseldorf issued a preliminary ruling that the Samsung tablet is now sufficiently different.

This week the European Union also get involved in the patent battle between Apple and Samsung. The European Commission is taking a closer look at the way Samsung licenses its essential patents, concerned that Samsung may be in breach of European competition law.

Samsung didn't reply to questions about the verdict in Munich.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

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