Featured: Apple Lose Appeal on iPad Design in the UK

October 18, 2012 - Written By Tom Dawson

This is never going to end. Apple is going to fight with everybody they can over the design of the iPhone and the iPad, it’s inevitable, it’s just how Apple work these days. Not content with making more money than any other company they seem hell bent on making sure that they’re the only company to produce rectangles packing silicon chips.

If you can think back to earlier in the year, Apple lost a dispute with Samsung in the UK where Apple were claiming that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was nothing but a copy of the iPad. However, the UK courts didn’t agree with Apple and said that the Galaxy Tab’s design was not a copy of the iPad’s, stating that it wasn’t as “cool” and lacked Apple’s “extreme simplicity”. So, whilst Samsung didn’t get a shining ovation they were off the hook.

The decision also led the UK courts to order Apple to publicly apologise to Samsung by way of retracting their claims of the Galaxy Tab being a copy on both their website and in print publications throughout the nation. Apple didn’t like this and somehow managed to acquire a stay on the decision. However, the Cupertino company has now appealed the decision – now denied by the UK High Court.

One judge said that “The acknowledgment must come from the horse’s mouth, nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely.” Samsung themselves had a very clear and simple message to send to Apple through the following statement:

“We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular 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 other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.”

Quite frankly, the whole thing is getting a little ridiculous and it’s good to see the UK courts stands their ground and not pander to Apple like the US Court System seems more than happy to. There’s no doubt about it that if this sort of behaviour carries on, there is going to be less and less choice for consumers and innovation in the industry will take a hit. How on earth can companies continue to innovate if Apple are only going to slam them with massive legal costs – not to mention a hit to their reputation – claiming, “We were here first!”.