Another day, another German court ruling over whether Samsung can sell a device within the country's borders.
Earlier today, a court in Dusseldorf ruled that Samsung could sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1N in Germany, rebuffing calls by Apple to ban the device from sale because of patent infringement. The court told the companies, according to Reuters, which was in attendance at the hearing, that there were "clear differences" between the Galaxy Tab 10.1N and the iPad.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1N should be not be confused with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The "N" model is a revision Samsung brought to Germany late last year after a court banned the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from store shelves, citing patent infringement. Despite the Galaxy Tab 10.1N's revisions, Apple said that it was still infringing on its patents and wanted that device to be banned, as well.
Today's bad news for Apple comes just a little over a week after the company celebrated the German Higher Regional Court's decision to uphold a Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban. The court said that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 8.9 should be banned from sale in the country, as well.
In that ruling, however, the regional court said that Samsung's devices should be banned because of the company's violation of a German anticompetition statute. The ruling came just hours after the European Union's European Commission announced that it was launching a formal investigation into whether Samsung has used wireless patents in an anticompetitive way.
"The Commission will investigate, in particular, whether in doing so Samsung has failed to honor its irrevocable commitment given in 1998 to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to license any standard essential patents relating to European mobile telephony standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms," the EC said in a statement. "The Commission will examine whether such behavior amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU)."
The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported on a letter Apple sent last year to the ETSI urging member companies--Samsung and Motorola, included--to establish reasonable royalty rates and terms on essential patents. It appeared to be a shot over Samsung's bow, which Apple has argued in the past, violates frand terms.
Still, the iPhone maker can't seem to get a decisive victory in on Samsung. And Samsung, trying as hard as it can to beat Apple in a lawsuit, just can't do it, either.