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Dutch court finds Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn't infringe upon the iPad

The Dutch Supreme Court this week ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn't infringe upon the design elements of Apple's iPad, thus throwing more water on Apple's efforts to get Samsung's tablet off of store shelves in the Netherlands.

ComputerWorld reports that while Apple's design patents for the iPad were held to be valid, the fact that a number of previous products implemented similar design elements limits the extent to which Apple can successfully persuade a court to issue an injunction.

According to Apple, Samsung infringed on the registration of a so-called community design, a form of intellectual property right available in the E.U. that allows businesses to prevent others from copying the outward appearance of their products. The design Apple registered in 2004 shows a rudimentary version of the iPad.

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Apple's design right is valid, but the protection it offers is very limited due to earlier similar designs, also known as prior art, the Supreme Court said in the verdict.

The court noted that Samsung's tablet varies just enough from the iPad as to make the differences apparent to an informed user.

In a statement praising the decision, Samsung stated, "Apple was not the first tablet designed with a rectangular shape and rounded corners. The origin of the registered design features of Apple can be found in numerous examples of prior art."

Apple, thus far, hasn't issued a statement on the ruling.

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