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UK court sides with Samsung, says its tablets don't really look like iPads and won't be banned from sale

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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UK court sides with Samsung, says its tablets don't really look like iPads and won't be banned from sale
UK's legal system has sided with Samsung on the design patent infringement lawsuit brought on by Apple about the similarities between its iPad, and Samsung's Android tablets, like the Galaxy Tab 10.1, 7.7 and 8.9.

The court has found that there are enough differences between the slates and the iPad, so as not to issue a sales ban on Samsung's devices in the UK. The Koreans didn't manage to achieve the same verdict here in the US, as their Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was banned for sale in the land of the free.

Samsung issued a statement where it details exactly which Apple claims the court has found invalid and insufficient for a product ban:

Samsung had requested this voluntary trial in September 2011, in order to oppose Apple’s ongoing efforts to reduce consumer choice and innovation in the tablet market through their excessive legal claims and arguments. Apple has insisted that the three Samsung tablet products infringe several features of Apple’s design right, such as 'slightly rounded corners,' 'a flat transparent surface without any ornamentation,' and 'a thin profile.'

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.


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posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:13 32

1. surethom (Posts: 833; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)


Once again the UK courts show the world what common sense is.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:27 19

2. wendygarett (unregistered)


UK judges are smart :)

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:31 17

3. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Good news! :)

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:32 29

4. tedkord (Posts: 13171; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


British judges are making US judges look like retards.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 13:57 4

35. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


Perhaps because US judges really are retards...

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:33 26

5. Mitchel (Posts: 228; Member since: 25 May 2012)


Judge Lucy Koh should learn from this.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 11:01 8

25. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1088; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)


Apple must have paid her to rule in their favor

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:42 21

6. Aeires (unregistered)


"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."

'nuff said.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 10:16 2

19. Commentator (Posts: 3715; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


That's in Samsung's own words, which are obviously going to be biased. (i)Engadget is reporting that the judge thought the Samsung Galaxy Tab is "not as cool" as the iPad, and therefore unlikely to be confused with it. That sounds more like an insult to Samsung than anything.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/09/uk-judge-says-galaxy-tab-not-as-cool-as-ipad-awards-samsung-w/

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 10:28

20. pegasso (Posts: 285; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


first HTC,
and now Samsung.

http://mobile.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-04/htc-mobile-phones-don-t-infringe-apple-patents-u-dot-k-dot-judge-says

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 10:28

21. pegasso (Posts: 285; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


first HTC,
and now Samsung.

http://mobile.businessweek.com/news/2012-07-04/htc-mobile-phones-don-t-infringe-apple-patents-u-dot-k-dot-judge-says

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 10:39 4

23. Aeires (unregistered)


I don't think Samsung really cares if a judge thinks their products aren't as cool, only if they are allowed to sell them or not.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 12:40 1

29. willard12 (Posts: 1924; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


And you're calling Endgadget unbiased? They wrote a paragraph article and didn't show the entire quote.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 12:55 1

31. Commentator (Posts: 3715; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


Um, no, I'm not calling Engadget unbiased, that's why I placed the "(i)" before "Engadget," in much the same way that people call PhoneArena "iPhoneArena."

Why would you think I was calling Engadget unbiased? Just because Samsung says one thing and Engadget says another doesn't mean one of them is lying. They both are emphasizing a different part of the story.

posted on 10 Jul 2012, 00:02

38. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


coolness has nothing to do with patents. Next what, an apple patent for being "cool"?

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:52 6

7. khmer (Posts: 95; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


UK Courts made Judge Koh blinded couldn't tell the different between Samsung Galaxy Tab and iPad; Samsung Galaxy S phone and iPhone.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:57 9

8. matrix_neo (Posts: 334; Member since: 03 Nov 2011)


Good for samsung. Ifans what can you say? The truth shall prevail.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 08:13 5

9. angelesmec (unregistered)


Apple blah blah blah goes where it belongs..

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 08:22 6

10. MISTER_H (banned) (Posts: 97; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)


Take that crapapple. Don't even bother next time.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 08:29 3

11. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Glad this work out, I'm looking forward for some great Samsung Windows (Phone) 8 Tab/Phone

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 08:40 8

12. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


So Apple patented prior art?

Shocking.

posted on 10 Jul 2012, 00:05 1

39. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


Point. Yes, those patents should have been invalidated, too.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 08:48 6

13. remixfa (Posts: 14597; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


finally. my god. a judge that reiterated what most feel is common sense. That gives me hope for judicial systems... outside of the US. Can we vote this guy to teach Lucy how to be a tech judge. Apple uses pretty much the same arguments in every court case.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 08:58 7

14. Fuego84 (Posts: 351; Member since: 13 May 2012)


I'm tired of hearing about this last Gen, company which is always behind in technology, software, and innovation already. I mean come on Apple how long did you think your plan of selling the same OG iPhone again and again and again was going to last. And now that iPhones aren't selling as fast as before you go on and try to ban competition instead of stepping up your supposed superior product. I guess that means you want to keep selling the same outdated, low end iPhone a while longer. I'm proud that I've never bought an Apple product and I'm so sure I never will because I like the better products.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 08:59 4

15. bayusuputra (Posts: 963; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


Knight Rider FTW!!!

slavishly copy design my a$$!
Prior art, apple.. Prior art.. the world didn't started in 2007..

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 09:04 7

16. Tmachaveli (Posts: 425; Member since: 01 Apr 2011)


That's what you get apple...why is the u.s. courts so dam dumb?

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 09:32 7

17. disneydad (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Mar 2012)


Thank you your honor!

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 09:56 5

18. darkkjedii (Posts: 23453; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


I'm an apple guy, but congrats Samsung. Apple needs to get off their a$$e$ and innovate more. Sammy makes kick a$$ products.

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 10:28 2

22. shuaibhere (Posts: 1986; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


atlast the truth has revealed....... atleast after this lucy koh should get some sense... i think US suppports apple cuz its US company.... if apple loses share then US economy rate will go down...i think dis is the main reason behind the US's stupididty........

posted on 10 Jul 2012, 00:08

40. thinking (Posts: 130; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)


I would disagree with that. I'm sure the sales result in taxes. The stores employ americans. And when the koreans and taiwanese fly down for business discussions, there is additional business from hotels and restaurants and flights and others (not to mention shopping). And every time a better product is made, it gives ideas to US companies like apple to steal.

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