Apple Loses UK Appeal in Samsung iPad Patent Violation Case

Apple iPad


Last Thursday, Apple lost an appeal of its previous ruling in United Kingdom against Samsung, saying that the South Korean company did not copy the look and feel of the iPad.

According to the ruling that was handed down by the High Court in London, Judge Colin Birss said the consumers were unlikely to mistake Apple’s tablet with the Galaxy Tab. That’s because the competing device “were not as cool.” The judge even pointed out that Samsung’s tablet is not too similar with the iPad in terms of its registered design.

Speaking of Apple’s registered design, the iPad maker reasserted that the device’s most important factor is its front face and overall shape. That’s because users will spend most of their time looking at it and holding it. Sir Robin Jacob, one of the judges who reviewed the case, explained why Apple lost the ruling:

It’s not about whether Samsung copied Apple’s iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question on whether there was copying. The issue is simply whether the  design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law.

Apple Gives Free Advertisement for Its Rival

After losing is U.K. patent infringement case, Judge Birss ordered Apple to run advertisements on its U.K. websites and British magazines, declaring that Samsung did not copy its iPad. It was also ordered that the notice will remain active for at least six months.

However, the court added that Apple doesn’t need to “clutter” its homepage. The company only need to put the Web notice with a link titled “Samsung/Apple Judgement.”

Print ads will also be taken out in various publications as a consolation for the “damaging impression” that Apple has incurred on Samsung and its product. On the other hand, the Cupertino-based company’s attorney argued that mentioning Samsung on their site would mean giving their rival a free advertisement in effect. Meanwhile, a Samsung spokeswoman said that they are welcoming the UK ruling.

We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with regular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple’s registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.

Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in their countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.

Thursday’s ruling was handed down just hours after Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple’s request to seal its financial documents. The documents were said to be part of an ongoing post-trial motions for the landmark Apple versus Samsung jury trial.

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