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Phones

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N cleared as Apple loses case

A German court has ruled the redesigned Samsung Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe any Apple patents.

Things have swung Samsung's way again in its ongoing court battle with Apple. A German court has ruled Samsung's redesigned Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe any of Apple's patents, meaning the tablet is cleared for sale, Reuters reports.

The ruling affirms a preliminary assessment, and states there are "clear differences" between the redesigned tablet (known as the Galaxy Tab 10.1N) and the iPad 2.

Apple accused Samsung of "slavishly copying" its iPhone and iPad, and sued the Korean company in countries all over the world, succeeding in imposing a ban in Germany. (Though that was overturned, then subsequently upheld. Come on, keep up.) The Tab was also banned in Australia.

Samsung redesigned the Galaxy Tab in November, giving it a new metal band around the edge that bleeds into the front of the device. And it seems that's done the trick, with Apple's patent claims rejected in a preliminary hearing. And now this.

Samsung -- which supplies parts for the iPad -- has counter-sued, claiming infringements of its patents for mobile tech, making the whole farrago all the more strange. A court in Mannheim has ruled against Samsung in two of the patent cases, and will decide on the third on 2 March.

Motorola also threw its hat into the ring, succeeding in having several models of iPhone and iPad banned in Germany because of -- you guessed it -- a patent injunction. This one related to Moto's wireless intellectual properties. Just a few hours later Apple managed to overturn the ban though. It's a full-time job keeping track of these legal wrangles.

Steve Jobs saw Android as a stolen product, and declared "thermonuclear war" on Google. The search behemoth is in the process of acquiring Motorola, so don't expect these legal tussles to go away anytime soon.

Has anyone copied anyone else? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, or on Facebook.