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German court rejects Apple bid to ban Galaxy phone, tablet

Apple's attempts at getting Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1N and Galaxy Nexus smartphone banned from sale in the country have been rejected by a German judge.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1N, now safe in Germany.
Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1N, now safe in Germany.

Apple's attempt to keep Samsung from selling its Galaxy 10.1N tablet and Galaxy Nexus smartphone in the country was rejected today.

"Samsung has shown that it is more likely than not that the patent will be revoked because of a technology that was already on the market before the intellectual property had been filed for protection," said Munich Regional Court Judge Andreas Mueller, according to Bloomberg.

Apple originally took aim at Samsung's devices--particularly the Tab--for bearing resemblence to its own products. Apple won an early injunction against Samsung's tablet in the country, forcing it to go back and re-work the design of its initial 10.1 tablet and come back with a newer model that skirted Apple's claims of infringement. Under this new decision, that tweaked model stays safe.

The same cannot be said for the original Tab 10.1 design, which suffered a setback yesterday. The Higher Regional Court in Dusseldorf upheld an earlier injunction against the device, saying it--along with the smaller 8.9-inch version of the device--violated a German anti-competition statute.

A Samsung representative said the company welcomed the news. 'We will continue to assert our intellectual property rights and defend against Apple's claims to ensure our continued ability to provide innovative mobile products," a company spokesperson said.

Apple did not respond to a request for comment.

This spat is just the latest in a larger patent battle between Apple and Samsung in courts around the world. The two companies, which also happen to be business partners, have quickly become fierce competitors in recent years with a rise in popularity of smartphones and tablets.

The dispute was kicked off with a U.S. lawsuit filed by Apple against Samsung in April of last year that said Samsung was violating its intellectual property in the design of its mobile devices, specifically the Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets. Samsung quickly countersued, saying Appple was infringing on multiple patents. Since then, Apple's gone after Samsung heavily in Australia and parts of Europe--particularly Italy and Germany, the latter of which is considered to be friendly to patent-holders and faster than courts in the U.S.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. PT with response from Samsung.