German court upholds ruling in tablet battle

DUESSELDORF, Germany Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:06am EDT

The Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab is displayed for customers at a store in Seoul April 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab is displayed for customers at a store in Seoul April 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji

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DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - A German court on Tuesday upheld a ruling in favor of Samsung Electronics, denying a request by Apple Inc. to ban sales of the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab model in Germany.

The ruling by the Duesseldorf Higher Court reiterated a decision by the District Court in February. The court decision comes as executives of both companies have disagreed about the value of each other's patents at a settlement conference ahead of a high profile U.S. trial.

Apple and Samsung have been engaged in a legal battle worldwide since Apple sued Samsung in the United States last year, saying the South Korean company's Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablets "slavishly" copied the iPhone and iPad.

Germany has become a major battleground in the global patent war between makers of mobile phones, tablet computer devices and their operating software as court actions there have proved relatively cheap and speedier than in other jurisdictions.

Samsung changed the design of the frame of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 model and the location of its speaker, and renamed it the Galaxy Tab 10.1 N after a German court last year said the model violated Apple's patents.

The Duesseldorf court on Tuesday said Samsung could continue selling the revised model in Germany. At the same time the court said Samsung could not sell the older, smaller and less popular Galaxy Tab 7.7 in the entire European Union.

In Germany, the model is not for sale.

(Reporting by Anneli Palmen, writing by Harro ten Wolde. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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