US electronics giant Apple and South Korea's Samsung Electronics each scored partial court victories in Germany Tuesday in their global war over rival tablet computers.
A regional appeals court in the western city of Duesseldorf upheld a ban on sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 computer for infringing on Apple's design patent, and extended it from Germany to the rest of the European Union.
But it said that the redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1 N was now sufficiently different to the Apple iPad to be acceptable under competition law.
The two technology giants are engaged in a legal battle involving dozens of cases worldwide as they struggle for leadership in the hugely lucrative smartphone and tablet computer market.
Apple launched legal action in April last year, accusing Samsung of "slavishly" copying its iPhone and iPad designs. Samsung has focused its own lawsuits on technology patents rather than design.
In November, the Duesseldorf regional court had slapped a temporary ban on Samsung's previous model, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, saying it copied the iPad.
But changes Samsung made to the successor model for the German market to meet the court's demands rendered the tablet computer sufficiently different, it said in February. Apple appealed this decision.
Earlier that month, two other courts in Germany also quashed Apple's request to impose a preliminary ban on sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1N and Nexus smartphone.