Samsung Changes Galaxy Tab Design for Germany to Try to Avoid Ban
November 17, 2011 10:26 AM
It's unclear whether Apple will sue Samsung again to block the new design
It's been two months since
Germany dropped the ban hammer
on the Galaxy Tab 10.1. A Germany court ruled that the tablet, manufactured by South Korea's Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (
) was too similar to the Apple, Inc.'s (
) iPad in its minimalist design. The judge found Samsung to be in violation of Apple's design patents. This differed from Apple's other legal victories over Samsung --
an Australian ban
a Netherlands ban
on Galaxy Tab sales -- which were due to technology, not design patents.
Since then Samsung has been rushing feverishly to modify the design in an effort to escape the German ban. It finally has a finished product in the form of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 "N".
The N variant will have a revamped frame (e.g. the lip around the touchscreen) and the speaker position will be changed. Samsung
, "We modified the model to reflect Apple's claims."
The move follows comments at the
conference by Samsung's Won-Pyo Hong, executive VP of product strategy. During his speech, Mr. Hong said his company was
looking to modify its products
to escape Apple's design and technology IP infringement claims in 2012.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (original design) [Images Source: 9to5Google]
Samsung had previously
removed a GUI animation
from its distribution of Google Inc.'s (
) Android operating system in order to negate the ban in the Netherlands.
It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to satisfy Apple. Apple's lawyers have exerted in so many words the opinion that they should be the only company legally authorized to produce "minimalist" tablets (the word minimalist here is specifically taken from a German judge's summary of the Apple lawyer's more verbose claims). Thus it's unclear exactly how far Samsung and others will have to modify their products to escape bans in regions that side with Apple.
Samsung and Apple are currently trading blows in an international legal war [
sells more smartphones than Apple
Apple sells more tablets
that Samsung. Both companies occupy the #1 and #2 spots in global sales in these crucial electronics markets.
Apple recently gained another piece of legal ammo,
patenting swipe unlocking
in the U.S. The company was fortunate that the
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
turned a blind eye to the multitude of prior art and decided to rubber stamp the patent, as it has done with other previous Apple patents, such as the
controversial patent on multi-touch gestures
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