The changes Samsung Electronics has made to the Galaxy Tab 10.1N are enough to no longer infringe on Apple's intellectual property rights, a judge at the district court in Düsseldorf, Germany, decided on Thursday.
The verdict was expected, since the court delivered the same preliminary decision in December last year.
Samsung welcomes today's ruling, since the court has denied Apple's request to stop the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1N. The tablet remains available to consumers in Germany, a spokesman said via email.
Apple can appeal the verdict, but didn't want to comment on its plans.
Last year, the court blocked German sales of the original version of Samsung's 10-inch tablet, after Apple argued that its design is too close to the company's registered Community Design for its iPad. That verdict was recently confirmed by the higher regional court in Düsseldorf.
To circumvent that ruling, Samsung modified the appearance of the tablet to create the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, which Apple also attacked through legal channels.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1N has a new bezel and speakers on the front of the device, and Samsung is confident that the company can demonstrate to the court its distinctiveness compared to the iPad, a Samsung spokesman said via email when Apple filed the motion to have it blocked.
The verdict means that Apple has lost cases related to the design of Samsung's tablet in Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. Germany was the only country where Samsung had to change the design to appease the courts.
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