UK court sides with Samsung against Apple
UK court sides with Samsung, says its tablets don’t really look like iPads and won’t be banned from sale.
The High Court of England & Wales today stated that there are recognisable differences between the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 8.9 tablets and the Apple iPads.
Therefore, Samsung’s devices are free to remain on sale in the UK.
Samsung issued a statement where it details exactly which Apple claims the court has found invalid and insufficient for a product ban:
However, the High Court dismissed Apple’s arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, or designs that were previously created or patented, from before 2004. These include the Knight Ridder (1994), the Ozolin (2004), and HP’s TC1000 (2003). The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, and numerous identical design features to have been visible in a wide range of earlier tablet designs from before 2004.
Equally important, the court also found distinct differences between the Samsung and Apple tablet designs, which the court claimed were apparent to the naked eye. For instance, the court cited noticeable differences in the front surface design and in the thinness of the side profile. The court found the most vivid differences in the rear surface design, a part of tablets that allows designers a high degree of freedom for creativity, as there are no display panels, buttons, or any technical functions. Samsung was recognised by the court for having leveraged such conditions of the rear surface to clearly differentiate its tablet products through ‘visible detailing.’
Samsung welcomes today’s ruling by the High Court, which affirms Samsung’s commitment to protect its own intellectual property rights while respecting those of other companies. Samsung believes Apple’s excessive legal claims based on such a generic design right can harm not only the industry’s innovation as a whole, but also unduly limit consumer choice.
Apple has reiterated its stance in the matter, which is the same as it was before the High Court ruling: