Did This Company Just Outmaneuver Apple?

Samsung must think it's so clever. The Korean electronics conglomerate has been in an escalating global patent war with frenemy Apple (NAS: 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 (NAS: 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 mobiflip.de 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: mobiflip.de, 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 (NYS: 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.

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