While Apple has had some success enforcing its iPad design patent rights against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices around the world, it's beginning to look like other tablet designs are increasingly more likely to avoid the same misfortune. Dow Jones is reporting that the Dusseldorf Regional Court in Germany today rejected claims that Motorola's Xoom tablet infringes Apple's European design registration on the iPad. The same court ruled earlier this year that the redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1N similarly escaped the reach of Apple's infringement assertions.
Today's decision isn't terribly surprising considering the real-world limitations on Apple's design coverage for the iPad. Design patents are narrowly interpreted and noticeable modifications to the slope of the sides, the bezel proportions, and other aesthetic features can provide solid workaround options for competing tablet manufacturers. It seems the court simply believed the Xoom tablet had distinguished itself enough from the protected iPad design.
It's worth noting that the court also rejected Motorla's claims that Apple's iPad design registration is invalid. According to the law in Germany, that means that both sides are considered to have won something and lost something. Given that outcome, the court reportedly split up the legal costs associated with the case: requiring Apple to pay two-thirds, with Motorola paying the remaining one-third.