In the ongoing drama that is Apple vs Samsung, after ruling Samsung did not copy Apple because Galaxy Tabs are not as “cool” as the iPad, UK’s Judge Colin Birss has ordered Apple to run Samsung ads as a way to counteract any impressions that Samsung is copying the iPad.
For those that aren’t familiar with the issue, Samsung brought a preemptive lawsuit against Apple in the UK looking for Samsung’s tab designs to be declared as non-infringing. As expected, Samsung won that particular lawsuit. Since Samsung won that means, in the eye of the United Kingdom judiciary, Samsung does not copy the iPad and any perceptions otherwise tarnish Samsung’s reputation. Thus, to makeup for any tarnished reputation, Judge Colin Birss has ordered Apple to run adverts on Apple’s UK website and “various” newspapers and magazines stating Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs did not copy the iPad. It isn’t exactly clear what type of ads these need to be or how eye-catching (i.e. text vs image advertisement) but the ads do need to be run for a minimum of six months.
Apple hasn’t officially commented on this ruling but Apple’s lawyer has stated that the order means Apple will essentially be running an advertisement for Samsung and “no company likes to refer to a rival on its website”.
Although Apple has clearly lost this particular battle, it did receive a consolation prize. Samsung was looking for its designs to be declared non-infringing, thus blocking Apple from bringing lawsuits in the future. Judge Colin Birss, however, refused to comply with Samsung’s request stating Apple “was entitled to hold the opinion that his judgement was wrong”, which opens the door for future Apple vs Samsung tablet battles in the UK.