Did This Company Just Outmaneuver Apple?

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Samsung must think it's so clever. The Korean electronics conglomerate has been in an escalating global patent war with frenemy Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) for the better part of the year. The dueling duo have tussled here stateside, crossed the pond for a getaway in Europe, and even gone down under to wrestle in Australia.

For those of you just now joining us, here is a brief recap.

Apple won a skirmish in Germany when the courts granted a sales injunction against Sammy's Galaxy Tab, blocking imports as we approach the holiday shopping season. The Dusseldorf regional court called for immediate action after it determined that the Galaxy Tab was just a tad too much like the iPad. Sammy's response? "Why the rush? Besides, Apple just stole it from Stanley Kubrick!"

It didn't help Samsung's case when, back in the U.S. courts, District Judge Lucy Koh held up both tablets in question and asked Samsung attorney Kathleen Sullivan to identify which one was which, to have Sullivan reply, "Not at this distance, Your Honor." With "this distance" being about 10 feet away. Koh then turned to Samsung's panel of lawyers and asked if any of them could make the call, and one of them was able to answer correctly a moment later.

There was even talk that the new Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android "Ice Cream Sandwich" flagship phone, the Galaxy Nexus, was designed to avoid Apple patents. The jury's still out on whether that was truly the case, but it's certainly not out of the question.

Samsung's latest twist in the saga is to slightly redesign the Galaxy Tab 10.1, one that is intended to avoid the patents and related bans. German tech blog uncovered the all-new tablet, dubbed the Galaxy Tab 10.1N, and provided a side-by-side comparison. How different are they? You be the district judge.

Source:, new Galaxy Tab 10.1N (above) vs. old Galaxy Tab 10.1 (below)

The outer bezel of the device has been altered to slightly wrap around the front of the tablet. The bezel was one of the design similarities that the German court found as evidence of infringement. Now, instead of bearing an uncanny resemblance to the iPad 2, it just looks an awful lot like an iPad 1. Whether this minor tweak will be sufficient to avoid the injunction is still to be seen.

Apple also happens to be taking Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI  ) to the German courts over the Xoom; will it be next to tweak its ways?

Add Apple to your stock watchlist to see if Samsung has escaped the injunction. Click here to get access to a free report on three companies set to cash in on the smartphone and tablet revolution.

Fool contributor Evan Niu owns shares of Apple, but he holds no other position in any company mentioned. Click here to see his holdings and a short bio. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple and Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2011, at 3:23 PM, memoandstitch wrote:

    It is clearly labeled Samsung. Why would anybody think it's an iPad!

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2011, at 5:49 PM, AQCon wrote:

    You guys have the most obnoxious, non-sequitur headlines I have ever seen. Can you tell your headline editor to tone down the hyperbole?

  • Report this Comment On November 17, 2011, at 5:55 PM, sheldonross wrote:

    Reading about court decisions like these make me question my faith in humanity. Basically they couldn't make a tablet that looked like a tablet.

    And here I could've sworn I saw someone use one that looked eerily similar on Star Trek years ago.

  • Report this Comment On November 18, 2011, at 9:08 AM, CluckChicken wrote:

    This just Apple being Apple and their silly battle over "look and feel". The are still upset that they lost the battle in the 80s with MSFT over the Recycle Bin.

    If you have to fight a battle over the look of the box the product is in it does not say much about how you feel about your product.

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