Apple Forced To Clear Samsungs Name In UK


While another appeal between Apple and Samsung over copyright issues has reached a temporary conclusion, their argument in the UK will now result in a commercial role reversal of sorts, with Apple now ordered to undo the damage that their initial victory in July had done to Samsung’s brand image in the region.

The original case in the High Court had ruled that the frontal appearance of the rival product brands (Samsung Galaxy Tab and the predated iPad from Apple) were ‘very, very similar’ according to Judge Colin Birss, despite also recognising differences with the respective backs. Judge Birss had also less professionally remarked that the Samsung design was ‘not as cool’ as the Apple device, stating at the time that it did not feature the: “extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design.”

However, it appears as though Birss’ decision has now been overruled at the Court of Appeal, as while it is claimed that there are ‘some parts’ of the Galaxy Tab bearing similarity to an iPad, it is not enough to properly infringe on the competing design.

The defeat for Apple now means that as an order following the ruling, Apple are required to post prominent adverts on their UK website and in a number of local newspapers and magazines to clearly state that Samsung have not copied from them. These explanatory adverts are to remain in circulation for no less than six months, in an initiative to ‘correct the damaging impression’ that the case made on Samsung’s reputation.

The South Korean company, like many people fed up with Apple getting their own way over trivial matters, were naturally pleased with the Court of Appeal’s verdict, as a Samsung spokeswoman stated: “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.”

With the pair nowhere near finished with court cases around the world, will more courts follow this decision and support Samsung’s ‘not guilty’ plea in the patent cases?

3 Comments

  1. Graham
    Graham October 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Judge Birss’ decision was not “overruled”. He found in favour of Samsung in the original case. It was Apple that appealed, and lost the appeal.

  2. TeeJay2000
    TeeJay2000 October 21, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Infringement or copying legal matter aside, Judge Birss and Jacobs probably do realize the problem that they have created here. Biriss’s personal comment about ‘coolness’ when it comes to an Apple product of course triggered media attention that was unintended perhaps, but nonetheless focused attention on the wide difference in legal opinion between the preliminary German ruling that led to a ban and the UK court findings of complete exoneration! So it seems Apple will be punished for the politics of the UK vs the EU as it pertains to such rulings, as much as it will be for losing the (counter) claims. To me, the Samsung tablet overall design is obvious in its theft and is not countered by a simpleton’s mantra that you can not patent rectangles. The UK courts have created a mess here and the public flogging of Apple, even though Judge Jacobs takes pains to note that it is not intended to make Apple grovel, adds to the mockery.

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    [...] show small text adverts (on their website and regularly in newspapers for up to six months) that apologise for their reputation-destroying campaign on the South Korean company, though the issue could now be reignited after the American [...]

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