German court upholds injunction on Samsung tablet imports

The ruling bans tablet sales in Germany

A German court has upheld a preliminary injunction requested by Apple, preventing Samsung Electronics from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PC in Germany.

Apple claims the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is too similar to that of its iPad 2, the design of which is registered with the European Union's Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market.

The court initially granted Apple an injunction banning imports of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 across the E.U., but later reduced its scope to cover only Germany.

A final ruling in the case will come on Sept. 9, the court said at the end of a hearing in Dusseldorf Thursday.

Much of Thursday's hearing revolved around the accuracy of evidence supplied by Apple, with Samsung accusing Apple of deliberately distorting images of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 so that it looked more like the iPad 2. The devices have different proportions, with the Tab's screen taller and narrower, but at least one image submitted by Apple in evidence portrayed the devices as having almost the same proportions, a report by Webwereld.nl revealed earlier this month.

The two companies are locked in legal battles in a number of jurisdictions: on Wednesday, a Dutch court banned imports of three Samsung smartphones after finding that they breached an Apple patent.

(With reporting from Andreas Udo de Haes, in Dusseldorf.)

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

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