Samsung went back to the drawing board, or at least the sketch pad, and made some modifications to its Galaxy Tab Android tablet for reintroduction to the German market. The company tweaked the case and gave the device a slightly new monicker in order to keep it from infringing on a community patent (similar to a design patent in the U.S.) Apple owns for its iPad.
In September, a German court upheld an injunction Apple had won that prohibited Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country. Apple accused the company of copying the iPad’s design, and the court agreed.
In the ruling, Judge Johanna Brückner-Hofmann said at the time that, “The court is of the opinion that Apple’s minimalist design is not the only technical solution to make a tablet computer. Other designs are possible.”
After failing to get the ruling overturned by invoking the vaunted Kubrick Defense, the company apparently decided to try and come up with such a design to make its tablet look the tiniest bit less like the iPad. While doing so, Samsung came up with a much different name to help distinguish the new model.
Instead of calling it the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the new version will be marketed as the Galaxy Tab 10.1N [Emphasis added in case you missed it - Editor].
You can see the Galaxy Tab 10.1N below (it’s the version on top), with the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 pictured below it.
Galaxy Tab 10.1N (on top) & Galaxy Tab 10.1 (on bottom)
(Image assembled by Mobiflip.de, which broke the story)
Part of the community patent that Apple holds on the iPad includes the edge-to-edge screen of the iPad and iPad 2, shown below, not necessarily to scale with the Galaxy Tabs.
iPad and iPad 2
Writing for FOSS Patents, Florian Mueller said that if the Galaxy Tab 10.1N passes muster in Germany, it is likely to do so in the U.S., as well, where he said design patents are stricter than they are in Germany.
Time will tell, of course, but the reality is that wider bezel of the 10.1N does make the device look less like an iPad wannabee. Time will tell if it’s enough of a difference to make the German court think differently about the device.