Another day, another fight between Samsung and Apple. This time the battlefield is an English courtroom and the victor is Samsung albeit with a bloody nose.
Apple has sued Samsung in the USA and Germany claiming Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs copied iPad’s design. In the UK, however, Samsung filed a lawsuit to have Samsung’s tab designs declared as non-infringing. In other words, Apple did not start this particular lawsuit — Samsung did, primarily because UK courts tend to side with alleged infringers over patent holders and a win in the UK could affect Germany court proceedings. Now, UK’s Judge Colin Birss has ruled Samsung does not copy iPad’s design, primarily due to the devices’ different thicknesses and designs on their backs. However, what makes this ruling semi-interesting is the commentary the judge provided.
The judge states Samsung tabs are “not as cool” as iPad and hence there is no infringement:
“They [Samsung tablets] do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They [Samsung tablets] are not as cool.”
As expected, Samsung and Apple issued stereotypical corporate lingo after the ruling was revealed. Apple is disappointed…
“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. 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.”
…while Samsung is content:
“Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.”
Apple has 21 days to appeal against the ruling.