October 19, 2012
Samsung’s Galaxy tablet does not violate Apple’s patents because it simply is “not as cool” as Apple’s iPad, a British Court of Appeal ruled Oct. 18.
The court upheld a July ruling by Judge Colin Birss, unanimously agreeing with his findings that Samsung’s tablets just “are not as cool” as the iPad and that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s rights.
“The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking,” Birss wrote at the time, making note of the iPad’s “undecorated flat surfaces, very thin rim and crisp edge.”
Judge Robin Jacob of the Court of Appeal also ordered Apple to broadcast the court rulings to ensure consumers know Samsung’s Galaxy tablet is not a knock-off.
“Apple itself must (having created the confusion) make the position clear: that it acknowledges that the court has decided that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design,” Jacob wrote in his decision. “The acknowledgement must come from the horse’s mouth. Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely.”
Apple has not said if it will take its appeal to the Supreme Court, the final court of appeal for U.K. civil cases.
Samsung and Apple are embroiled in a patent fracas in 10 countries as each accuses the other of copying one another’s mobile devices.
The companies are going head-to-head as the holiday season approaches in a bid to dominate the mobile market.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh recently rescinded a ban on U.S. sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 that she imposed in June. Koh said she had no grounds for keeping the preliminary injunction in place after jurors decided in an Aug. 24 verdict Samsung did not violate an Apple design patent.
Apple, however, said the ban should not be lifted because the jury concluded the Samsung device violated other patents at issue in the case.
A jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in a separate case in August after determining a number of Samsung Smartphones violated Apple’s iPhone patents.
Koh also has ordered Apple to release information on its iPhone sales, earnings and profit margins.
Samsung, meanwhile, claimed in its court filing Oct. 1 that Apple’s iPhone 5, which was released last month, infringes two standards patents and six features patents.
The case is set for trial in 2014. Samsung’s initial complaint names the same eight patents as the reason for alleging infringement by previous iPhone models, as well as the iPad and iPod Touch.