A judge in Germany has upheld the ban on sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Germany, and extended the ban to the rest of the European Union.

The judge said that the smaller Galaxy Tab 7.7 imitated the Apple design in an “unacceptable manner”.

However, the judge has lifted the ban on the Galaxy Tab following Samsung’s changes to that device. He said that the redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1 N was now “sufficiently different” to the iPad to be considered acceptable.

The Galaxy Tab 20.2 was banned by the German court back in November, which ruled that it copied the iPad.

Apple and Samsung are due to meet in a court in San Jose, California on Monday 30 July where the US trial will kick off. Apple CEO Tim Cook participated in mediation with Samsung's Vice Chairman Choi Gee-sung and mobile chief Shin Jong-Kyun last Monday in San Francisco with a view to seeing if the two sides could resolve the dispute, according to Business Insider sources.

It is believed that the two companies failed to come to any agreement, with various reports claiming they were unable to agree as to the value of their respective patents.

The Samsung Apple patent dispute has expanded into dozens of cases worldwide, with Apple accusing Samsung of copying the design and Samsung accusing Apple of encroaching on its technology patents.

In the UK a judge recently ruled that Samsung had not copied the iPad and Apple should take an ad out in the national press saying that it was wrong.

At a patent trial in Australia there was a debate about the power regulation during 3G data transmissions. “Apple uses an industry standard for power regulation in its chipsets, but it doesn't mean that the use of the standard means that Samsung's patent has been infringed”, said Stephen Burley, who is representing Apple.

The crux of the dispute between Apple and Samsung is how so-called standard essential patents should be valued. These are industry patents which Samsung agreed to license to competitors on fair and reasonable terms, in exchange for having the technology be adopted as an industry standard. Standards Essential Patent (SEP) is a product category of patents, which include technologies that are industry standards. Standards essential patents are subject to licence on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory ‘FRAND’ terms.

Google recently bought this question to the fore by questioning whether Apple’s best-loved patents should also be treated as Standard Essential Patents.

Related 

Google wants best-loved Apple technologies to be standards
Apple, Samsung drop some patent claims as trial approaches
Samsung: Apple refused to negotiate to license 3G patents
US appeals court refuses stay on injunction on Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales
Massive Apple patent win could kill off Android completely
Samsung tablets not 'cool' enough to infringe Apple design, says UK judge
Apple threatens resellers stocking banned Galaxy Tab