After months of media hype and courtroom battles, Samsung was finally ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion by a U.S. court a couple of months ago, for infringing the company's design patents. On the other side of the pond, however, things haven't been quite as clear cut, with a UK judge ordering Apple to publish ads stating that Samsung did not copy the iPad at all.
Today, Apple has posted a statement on its UK website saying just that, but its PR team has also taken the opportunity to say a few more words about Samsung as well.
After noting that "the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001", the statement goes on to quote the UK judge, who said that one of the reasons behind this is because Samsung's products "are not as cool" as Apple's.
The statement continues by pointing out that, although the UK judge doesn't believe that Apple's designs have been copied, courts in Germany disagreed, finding that "Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design."
With Apple clearly determined to have the last word in this battle, the final sentence reads, "So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad."
I'd like to say that this is the last we're going to hear of the battle between the two companies, but somehow, I think both parties will be looking to land another punch in the future. To be continued...
On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic(UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do notinfringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the Highcourt is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.
In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:
"The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design."
"The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. 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. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."
That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.
However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad.
Source: Apple UK