Samsung is indeed not as cool as Apple, as a legal ruling was upheld today in London’s High Courts. Apple was appealing against a ruling in the UK which said that, despite similarities, Samsung Galaxy tablets did not infringe upon Apple designs. In July Judge Birss famously said the Korean company’s Galaxy tablets weren’t “as cool” as iPads and that few people would confuse the two products.
Explaining Apple’s appeal loss, one of the three judges involved in the appeal case, Sir Robin Jacob, said “...this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products.” He also stated that “the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law”. Samsung’s tablet was easily distinguishable from Apple’s iPad because of the clearly visible front logo and being an “altogether busier” design. Sir Robin also informed us that he is an iPad owner.
The UK decision is valid across Europe and should help put an end to the patent wrangles over these tablets within the EU. Today, a spokeswoman from victorious Samsung said “We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.”
Apple is now supposed to place advertisements on its website, in magazines and in newspapers such as The Guardian and Financial Times, to remove any whiff of plagiarism from Samsung’s name. Apple is yet to comment on the result of the appeal. Reuters spoke to Darren Smyth, a partner in a specialist intellectual property law firm, who said “I expect this will be the end of the line. An appeal to the Supreme Court is in principle possible but there has been no indication so far that Apple plan such an appeal”. He added “For the design of tablets in Europe this should be the final word.”
The notice on Apple’s website only has to be a simple link entitled “Samsung/Apple judgement”, leading to a statement saying Samsung didn’t copy Apple’s iPad designs. It is to be visible for at least a one month period. The newspaper and magazine adverts need to be written in type no smaller than 14 points.