Galaxy Tab remains illegal in Germany

Judge: Non-iPad fondleslabs must be rough and complicated

Sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 remain illegal in Germany, a Dusseldorf court decided this morning.

Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hoffmann believes that Samsung’s "smooth, simple surfaces" on the 10.1-inch Honeycomb tablet copied the minimalist design of Apple's iPad. The court said that Apple's design isn't the only way to make a tablet computer, and that other designs could have been used by Samsung.

Samsung Germany has also been prohibited from selling the device in any other EU country, but sales by other EU divisions of Samsung are permitted for the time being. An earlier preliminary injunction was lifted in all European countries except Germany, because of jurisdiction restrictions.

Samsung, obviously, is not amused. "By imposing an injunction based on a very generic design right, this ruling restricts design innovation and progress in the industry," Samsung said in a statement. The South Korean company says it will appeal the decision in the Dusseldorf Higher Regional Court.

It is still unclear if the decision will affect the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Galaxy Tab 7.7 models. The latter was pulled last Saturday from Samsung’s booth at the German IFA 2011 show after a further Apple injunction.

Lawsuits filed by Apple caused delays in sales of Samsung tablets and smartphones across Europe, Australia and Korea. This week Apple also filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung in Japan. The lawsuit calls for the suspension of the sales of Galaxy S, S II and Galaxy Tab 7 and payment of damages worth 100 million yen or an equivalent of $1.3m. ®

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