Apple is suing Motorola in Germany over the design of the Motorola Xoom and its similarities to the iPad, according to small print another court case.

The notes were spotted in Apple's complaint against Samsung over the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which saw sales of Samsung's tablet suspended in Europe as the courts granted Apple a preliminary injunction.

Update: Unlike Samsung, Motorola seems to have been aware of the complaint and is keen to relay that it actually threw the first punch:

A spokesperson told TechRadar: "After Motorola filed patent infringement complaints against Apple in Germany in April 2011, Apple responded byfiling its own patent infringement actions against Motorola in Germany including design patent infringement claims.

"Apple's complaint for design patent infringement was filed on May 27, 2011, over two months ago. Motorola has reviewed Apple's claims and believe they have no merit. We intend to vigorously defend Motorola's own product designs."

The Motorola Xoom could go the way of the Tab 10.1 in Europe if the courts rule in favour of Apple again, although the notes do not clarify whether Apple has requested an injunction in this case.

Xoom, and the tablet's gone

The Motorola Xoom has another thing in common with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1; both tablets run Android Honeycomb.

Apple isn't shy about going after its Android-running competitors; but with the iPad such a runaway success, it does appear to be a case of Apple chasing money for old rope.

After all, it's already suing Motorola over forty US patents and is embroiled in a complicated lawsuit fandango with Samsung and HTC in various countries around the world.

Meanwhile, the UK and other European countries are already missing out on "the best Android tablet to date" – how much more tech are we going to have to sacrifice to these legal spats?

"They are a great competitor to have," Motorola told TechRadar of Apple not five months ago. We think it may have changed its mind.

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