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Apple takes a few digs at Samsung in its UK court-ordered statement

Toddlers fighting via BigStockphoto.com
Toddlers fighting via BigStockphoto.com
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Remember back in July a UK court ordered Apple to publish a statement that several Samsung Galaxy tablets didn’t infringe Apple’s patents?  Well after a quick appeal, which Apple largely lost, the company has finally issued the text of its statement.

If Samsung was looking for an apology then it won’t find one in these 360 words of legalese, which mostly quote Judge Birss – including his much publicised statement that Samsung’s tablets were not as “cool” as Apple’s.

So, with a few quotes from the Judge and the opening statement suggested by the Appeals’ Court (below) Apple has put pen to paper.

  1. On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic [sic] (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link [link given].
  2. That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on ….. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link […]. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

Apple’s appeal didn’t overturn their requirement to publish the statement for one month on its site but it did manage to get some concessions from the court.  The company doesn’t have to publish the statement on Apple’s UK homepage but instead just has to link to it from the homepage because “Apple had a genuine interest in keeping it [their homepage] uncluttered.”

Publishing the full statement on their homepage, in the same month that it was promoting its newly announced iPad Mini would have been embarrassing for Apple; not to mention that search engines would have indexed the words Samsung tablets and iPad Mini together on the Apple site – Samsung couldn’t buy that level of advertising.

But you probably won’t find too many Samsung execs getting excited at the prospect of an Apple ‘apology.’ Apple has taken the chance to take a few digs at Samsung (“Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad”) while reminding them of the number of cases they’ve lost.

Here’s Apple’s statement;

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 not infringe 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.

Your move Samsung.

Source: Image from Bigstock

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Piers Dillon Scott
Piers Dillon-Scott is co-editor of The Sociable and writes about stuff he finds. He likes technology, media, and using the Oxford comma (because it just makes sense).