Apple sued its South Korean rival last year, arguing the Galaxy Tab design "slavishly copies" the iPad, but a High Court judge ruled there are at least two main differences between the two tablets, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The ruling by Judge Colin Birss cited differences in thickness between the two units and details of the back of the Samsung tablet that made it distinct from other tablet computers.
"From the front they belong to the family, which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back," the judgment said.
"Informed users" would be able to spot the difference between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab, Birss ruled.
Infringement claims by Apple against Samsung are still pending in U.S. and German courts.
Samsung hailed the judge's ruling while accusing Apple of "ongoing efforts to reduce consumer choice and innovation in the tablet market through their excessive legal claims and arguments."
Apple, for its part, reiterated its claims against Samsung.
"This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."
Apple has 21 days to appeal the British ruling.