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Apple's patent claims vs Samsung rejected in German court

Samsung's redesigned Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe any Apple patents, a German court ruled today. Things aren't looking good for Cupertino…

Things don't look too good for Apple as it proceeds on its adventure through the courts. A German judge has ruled that Samsung's redesigned Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe any of Apple's patents, quashing Apple's claims. It's only a preliminary assessment, but doesn't bode too well for the Cupertino company.

"According to the court's assessment, the defendant has moved away sufficiently from the legally protected design," Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann told the court on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Apple accused Samsung of "slavishly copying" its iPhone and iPad with its own tablets and smart phones. Samsung redesigned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 for the German market, renaming it the Galaxy Tab 10.1N -- you can see the before and after tablets on the right.

And it looks like Samsung's redesign will be enough to assuage the court. No date has been given just yet for when the final ruling is due.

Samsung is returning fire as well. Earlier this week, it filed claims in a German court in a separate dispute, accusing Apple of allegedly infringing its patents relating to telecommunications technology. (Excuse the jargon, we don't want to risk getting wrong a key legal detail and ending up in court too.)

It really isn't Apple's week in court. Some HTC handsets were banned in the US after a court ruled the Taiwanese company did infringe one of Apple's patents in the software on its handsets -- yet this was actually good news for HTC, as Apple initially claimed it had infringed 10 patents. Realistically the ruling won't have much impact, with HTC boss Peter Chou already claiming the company has an alternative to the feature that infringed Apple's patent.

So, if Apple did lose, do you think it would become a little less litigious? Or do you think it's good all these companies are so protective of their creations? Let us know below or over on Facebook.