If there’s one thing that was at all surprising over this summer’s patent disputes between Apple and Samsung it’s that the UK courts took it to give Apple a taste of their own medicine. Something I haven’t liked about Apple for quite some time is that constantly feel the need to put the competition down at every turn – that’s not what this industry is about, it’s about making the best product not making fun of the competition like an idiotic bully. They do it every so many months when they “reinvent” something that the rest of the industry has been doing for quite some time.
For Samsung, they’ve had it pretty rough when it comes to their disputes with Apple in the press. Apple have repeatedly downplayed and criticised every release Samsung has made in the last few months. I’m not going to defend Samsung on their copying of the iPhone in the first builds of TouchWiz because, I believe that they did copy the iPhone in the first few builds but when it comes to the iPad I couldn’t understand their argument at all – they’re not even in the same shape.
The UK courts denied Apple’s claims that Samsung copied the iPad and in fact ordered them to publicly deny the fact through a statement on their website. Obviously, Apple appealed the order but, thankfully the order went through. The UK High Court ordered the company to display a statement on their website reversing their claims as well other publications in the UK, in order for the UK consumer to see this and hopefully restore some of Samsung’s reputation. If all you wanna do is read the statement here it is:
So, the statement is now up on Apple’s UK website, which you can go and read by following this link but, let’s take a look at how easy it is for you find the link on their website shall we? Below is Apple’s UK Website:
Can you see it? No, because it’s right down there at the bottom, hidden amongst some other links, like this:
Here’s the full statement below:
Samsung / Apple UK judgment
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 High court 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.