Samsung has won the latest round of its global court battles against Apple in relation to the design of its new Galaxy Tab device.
The UK High Court ruled on Monday that the Galaxy Tab does not infringe on the design patents of the iPad, simply because it is not “cool” enough to be confused with Apple’s device.
Judge Birss ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Tab does not have the same “understated and extreme simplicity” of iPads.
In his ruling, Judge Birss said: “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. The overall impression produced is different.”
Samsung welcomed the court verdict in a statement released yesterday, saying: “As the ruling proves, 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.”
Although Apple declined to comment specifically on the UK court ruling, it also released a statement yesterday: “It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
Apple has been given 21 days by the UK High Court to appeal against the decision, which you would imagine they would do, considering the already lengthy legal battles the company has had with Samsung in courts across the globe.
Incidentally, this is not the first time Apple has lost such a case in the UK. Earlier this month, a UK judge ruled that the “slide to unlock” function that is commonplace on iPhones could not be patented so as to prevent HTC from installing it on their own devices.