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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned in Germany thanks to Apple

Samsung Tab 10.1

(CBS) - Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been ousted from Germany due to a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Apple.

Apparently, Apple feels like Samsung's Galaxy Tab looks a little too much like the iPad.

The Düsseldorf Regional Court decided Friday to keep a preliminary injunction against Samsung. The South Korean electronics company still has the option appeal the decision at a higher regional court.

In the meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will never see the light of day in Germany, unless the higher regional court rules otherwise. The injunction is not limited to the Galaxy Tab. Samsung won't be able to sell any new products that might infringes on Apple's patent.

Photos of the Galaxy Tab and iPad 2 in an Apple court document show the two tablets as similar in appearance.
iPad 2 and Galaxy Tab pictured together Scribd

Sound familiar? That's because Apple already won a previous lawsuit in the Netherlands over the Samsung Galaxy S because its design was too similar to the iPhone.

ZDNet's Zack Whittaker pointes out, "One worry for Samsung is that the victory in Germany could be used as case precedence around the world." The U.S. International Trade Commission is considering whether to block the import of Samsung phones and tablets. And they aren't the only ones.

According to the Financial Times, similar battles are taking place in Australia, South Korea and Japan.

In a statement given to CNET, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said, "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

Losing access to American consumers on top of Europe's largest market could wreak havoc on Samsung's sales. If they lose the battle in South Korea, Australia and Japan, it could mean serious trouble for the electronics giant.

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