Samsung Galaxy Tab Did Not Copy ‘Cooler’ Apple iPad, High Court Rules

Samsung Electronics won a legal ruling after a U.K. judge said its Galaxy tablets aren’t “cool” enough to be confused with Apple Inc.’s iPad.

Apple has suffered a second defeat in the British courts at the hands of a competitor in less than a week, after the High Court ruled Samsung’s Galaxy Tab range does not unlawfully copy the iPad’s “cool” minimalist design. Photo: Differentieel + JeeeM = DailyM/Flickr

The good news for Samsung Electronics in Britain is that a judge says the company’s three Galaxy tablets aren’t copies of Apple’s iPad.

The bad news is that they’re not copies because they’re just like, so uncool and couldn’t possibly be edgy enough to be mistaken for an iPad by anyone who knows anything about cool stuff, writes The Consumerist.

In Monday’s High Court judgment Judge Colin Birss said that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets belonged to the same family as the Apple design when viewed from the front, but the Samsung products were “very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back”.

“They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Judge Colin Birss QC said. “They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different.”

The court found two main differences between Samsung’s tablets and the iPad, according to The Telegraph. First, Galaxy Tabs were significantly thinner than Apple’s designs, which were “about twice as thick as any of the Galaxy Tabs”.

Second the detailing on the back of Samsung’s tablets marked them out as unusual in the tablet market.

“When I first saw the Samsung products in this case I was struck by how similar they look to the Apple design when they are resting on a table,” the judge said. “They look similar because they both have the same front screen. It stands out.”

But “informed users” would be able to spot the difference, said the judge.

Reuters reports that the two companies are waging legal battles in about 10 countries, accusing each other of patent infringement as they vie for supremacy in the mobile device market.

Samsung welcomed the British High Court judgment, which it said affirmed its own intellectual property rights while respecting those of other companies.

“The court cited noticeable differences in the front surface design and in the thinness of the side profile,” Samsung spokesman said.

“The court found the most vivid differences in the rear surface design, a part of tablets that allows designers a high degree of freedom for creativity, as there are no display panels, buttons, or any technical functions.”

“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,” Samsung said in a statement.

Apple said it had no comment on Monday’s judgment, but it reiterated its view on the South Korean company’s designs.

“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,” the company said.

“This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual properties when companies steal our ideas.”

The victory for Samsung comes jus days after a U.S. appeals court lifted a freeze on sales of its Galaxy Nexus smartphones, although it upheld a lower court’s decision to temporarily halt sales of its Galaxy 10.1 tablet.

The decision als comes the same week as Apple’s products stopped being considered environmentally friendly after the tech giant asked the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) — the group that sets environmental standards for electronics — to remove all 39 of its products from its green registry, according to Mashable.

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