Samsung: Germany rejects Apple's Tab ban bid

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said a German court rejected Apple's bid to ban sales of its tablet computers and new smartphones, the latest chapter in a global legal battle between the rivals.

Samsung said Munich Regional Court has quashed Apple's request to impose a preliminary ban on sales of its Galaxy Tab 10.1N and Nexus smartphone. Apple claimed Samsung infringed on its patent rights, but the court disagreed, saying the technology has been widely used in the mobile market, Samsung said.

The rivals have been locked in a series of lawsuits in Germany.

Last week, the Mannheim Regional Court ruled against Samsung saying Apple had not violated one of its technical patents, while a Dusseldorf court is to rule next week on Apple's request to ban sales of Samsung's Gaxaxy Tab 10.1N.

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 began the process 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.

The South Korean giant received two legal boosts in December.

A court in San Jose, California, denied Apple's request for a preliminary injunction that would have banned the sale of three Samsung smartphones and a tablet computer.

Australia's High Court cleared the way for Samsung to sell its Galaxy 10.1 tablet in the country in time for Christmas, dismissing Apple's bid to have a ban extended.

But European regulators this week opened an antitrust probe against Samsung to determine whether it has distorted competition in European mobile device markets.

The European Commission said it would investigate whether Samsung went too far last year when it sought injunctions against competitors in various EU national courts, alleging infringements of Samsung's patent rights.

- AFP

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