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Apple unlikely to win German ban on Samsung Galaxy 10.1N

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Published : Dec. 23, 2011 - 10:27

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Dec. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. is unlikely to win a ban on sales of Samsung Electronics Co.’s Galaxy 10.1N tablet computer, a modified version introduced after sales of the original tablet were blocked, a German court said.

The Dusseldorf court that banned sales of the Galaxy 10.1 on Sept. 9 is unlikely to grant Apple an injunction against the Galaxy 10.1N, Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said at a hearing today. Samsung has changed the device’s design sufficiently to distance it from the iPad, she said, adding that the view is preliminary. A ruling was scheduled for Feb. 9.

“Consumers are well aware that there is an original and that competitors try to use similar designs, so buyers are vigilant when looking at products,” Brueckner-Hofmann said. “We don’t think that someone buys a Samsung to make his table neighbor at the coffee house believe he owns an iPad.”

Apple has faced setbacks in its legal fight against Samsung, its closest rival in tablet computers, since its initial September success in Germany. The iPad maker failed to convince an Australian court on Dec. 9 to reinstate a ban in that country and two days ago, a Dusseldorf court voiced doubts about the reach of Apple’s European Union design right that was the basis for the company’s Sept. 9 injunction.

The new Samsung tablet has thicker edges and the front screen has speakers which distinguish it from the iPad, the court said. There is also a broad Samsung label that ensures consumers aren’t confused, according to the judges.

Apple’s lawyer Matthias Koch argued that Samsung is still exploiting the reputation of the iPad.

“That’s the typical strategy: You try to come as close as possible to the original and if you can no longer do it you introduce marginal changes,” Koch said. “Even the packaging is one-to-one like that of the iPad.”

Samsung lawyer Thomas Musmann argued that Cupertino, California-based Apple is trying to monopolize the tablet format.

“It’s not that there were no other tablets around and that all that came after the iPad are an illicit copy,” Musmann said.

Technology companies, including Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, Apple, Microsoft Corp. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. are fighting in courts around to world to stake out intellectual property claims in the growing market for tablets. As many as 2.1 million tablet computers will be sold in Germany in 2011, an increase of 162 percent from 2010, Bitkom, a technology and telecommunications association, said last week.

 

<한글기사>

삼성, 獨 갤럭시탭 소송서 승소 할듯



삼성전자가 디자인을 바꿔  출시 한 태블릿PC '갤럭시탭 10.1N'이 애플의 디자인을 베꼈다고 보기 어렵다는 독일 법원의 잠정 판단이 나와 주목된다.

뒤셀도르프 법원의 요아나 브루에크너 호프만 판사는 22일(현지시간) 애플이 제기한 '갤럭시탭 10.1N 판매 금지 소송' 심리에서 "삼성이 제품의 디자인을 아이패드 와 확연히 다르게 바꿨다"며 삼성에 불리한 명령을 내릴 것 같지 않다고 밝혔다.

뒤셀도르프 법원은 지난 9월 갤럭시 탭 10.1이 아이패드2의 디자인을 베꼈다는 애플의 주장을 받아들여 이 제품의 독일 내 판매를 금지했다.

이에 삼성은 기존 제품에서 테두리와 스피커 위치를 변경한 갤럭시탭 10.1N을 내놓았으나 애플은 이 제품에 대해서도 판매금지 가처분 신청을 냈다.

브루에크너 호프만 판사는 "소비자들은 원본 제품이 있으면 경쟁업체가 이와 비슷한 디자인을 사용할 것이라는 사실을 잘 알고 있다"며 "따라서 소비자들이 제품을 볼 때 정신을 바짝 차린다"고 언급했다.

이어 "누군가 아이패드를 가진 것처럼 주변 사람들이 믿게 하려고 삼성 제품을 사지는 않을 것"이라며 "삼성전자의 새 태블릿PC는 애플보다 테두리가 더 두껍고 앞 쪽에 스피커가 있어 아이패드와 구별된다"고 지적했다.

이 판사는 다만 이런 견해가 잠정적인 것이며 최종 판결은 내년 2월9일 내릴 예정이라고 덧붙였다.