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Motorola Xoom doesn't copy Apple iPad, German court says

It's sort of a hollow victory for Motorola, as the Xoom never really made an impact on the market.

Select Motorola Xoom owners are now getting a licking of Ice Cream Sandwich.
Motorola's Xoom tablet.

Motorola scored a patent victory for its Xoom tablet, even if it's an empty one.

A German court ruled that the Xoom tablet, made by Google's Motorola, doesn't copy the design of Apple's iPad, according to the Dow Jones Newswires. Apple originally claimed that the Xoom infringed upon three of the iPad's design patents.

While the win gives Motorola legal ammunition for its next tablet, it does little for the Xoom. The iPad continues to dominate the tablet market, whereas the Xoom left a barely a trace despite its coveted slot as the first Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) device to hit the market.

The Xoom performed so poorly that in the U.S., Moto's carrier partner renamed the sequel tablet Xyboard -- which didn't help with sales at all.

Motorola also sought to invalidate iPad's design patent, but the German court in Duesseldorf dismissed the claim.

CNET contacted Motorola and Apple for comment. We'll update the story once they respond.

Apple's initial lawsuit was part of an effort to get the Xoom banned across Europe. It had hoped to get a punishing enough penalty slapped on Motorola to force it to the bargaining table, where the two would strike out a licensing deal. The Dusseldorf court is also reviewing another tablet case between Apple and Samsung.

Because both claims were dismissed, the German court ordered Apple to pay two-thirds of the cost of the case, with Motorola paying the balance.