Apple Website ‘Must Admit Samsung Didn’t Copy’, Ruling Claims

According to a recent ruling, Apple must publicly admit that its rival did not copy the iPad when designing its own tablets.

The Cupertino-based firm was ordered by a judge to publish a notice on its U.K. website for six months and in several British newspapers acknowledging the ruling against Apple’s claim. Photo: Andropov Montón Pinillos/Flickr

The notice is necessary to fulfill the July 9 London court decision that Samsung hasn’t copied Apple’s registered designs to produce its own Galaxy tablets, Judge Colin Birss said yesterday.

Judge Birss explained the decision of the High Court in London: “They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different.”

Richard Hacon, Apple’s lawyer, was not satisfied with the order and described it as prejudicial one as the firm was being forced to publish “an advertisement” for Samsung. He told the court: “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website.”

A Samsung spokesman responded: “Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.”

Galaxy tablet’s producer applied for an injunction banning Apple from saying the latest device copied its designs but Judge Birss did not grant it. He explained: “They are entitled to their opinion that the judgment is not correct.”

The court delivered the verdict, basing on the two main differences between Samsung’s tablets and the iPad, reports The Telegraph.

The first and the “most significant” one, Galaxy Tabs are more thinner than Apple’s controversial product, which were “about twice as thick as any of the Galaxy Tabs”.

Secondly, the detailing on the back of Galaxy Tab 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.

He added: “They look similar because they both have the same front screen. It stands out.”

“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.

Samsung, in its turn, welcomed the ruling and accused its rival of “ongoing efforts to reduce consumer choice and innovation in the tablet market through their excessive legal claims and arguments”.

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

It’s the first court battle, lost by iPhone and iPad producer at the High Court in less than a week. Wednesday saw Apple’s defeat in a dispute over “prize” technology patents to HTC, the Taiwanese Android manufacturer.

The court ruled that the patents were “either invalid, in part because they covered “obvious” features of the iPhone and other smartphones, or that HTC had not infringed them”.

The Cupertino-based company continues other design infringement claims pending against Samsung in American and German courts. According to the British law, Apple also has 21 days to appeal against the recent ruling.

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