Preliminary comments from a German judge seem to bode better for Samsung than for Apple in the latter’s legal spat with the company that is its supplier as well as its iPad competitor.

Reuters reported Thursday that Judge Johanna Brueckner-Hofmann said that Samsung, whom Apple sued, “has moved away sufficiently from the legally protected design.”

Samsung revamped its Galaxy 10.1 tablet for the German market after Apple won an earlier decision, but Apple decided the changes in the 10.1N were not enough and renewed the challenge.

Brueckner-Hofmann appeared to disagree. She said a final ruling will be issued Feb. 9.

Earlier this week, Apple won an International Trade Commission decision in the U.S. against an HTC phone design.,

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