Samsung Seeks to Avoid German Ban on Tablet by Tweaking Design

Samsung Electronics Co., embroiled in patent disputes with Apple Inc. (AAPL) about phones and tablets, has modified the Galaxy Tab tablet computer’s design to avoid a German sales ban after the iPad maker earlier won an injunction.

The South Korean company changed the frame and location of speakers for the product, Jason Kim, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, said by telephone today. The new version, named Galaxy Tab 10.1N, will go on sale as early as this week, Kim said.

Samsung has been locked in a global legal battle with Apple since the Cupertino, California-based company claimed in an April suit that Samsung’s Galaxy devices copied the iPad and iPhone. Samsung was the world’s biggest maker of smartphones in the last quarter while Apple dominates the tablet market.

“If you can make quick changes and keep selling, I don’t see why you shouldn’t do it,” Kim Chang Yeul, a Seoul-based analyst at Mirae Asset Securities Co., said by telephone. “It’s not that difficult technologically.”

A Dusseldorf court in September upheld a temporary sales ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Samsung’s tablet didn’t keep enough distance from the Apple design, Presiding Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said when delivering the verdict. While the back of the Galaxy is different from Apple’s registered design, the important feature is the front, which is nearly identical, she said.

Samsung can “immediately” come up with alternative designs for its products to resolve legal issues, Hong Won Pyo, executive vice president at Samsung, said on Oct. 20.

Last month, Samsung changed the way photos are browsed on three Galaxy-phone models for the Dutch market to bypass an injunction won by Apple in August.

To contact the reporters on this story: Jun Yang in Seoul at jyang180@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at mtighe4@bloomberg.net.

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