As ordered, Apple posted a notice on its UK website saying that Samsung didn’t copy the iPad.
A recent UK court ruling ordered Apple to post an apology to Samsung on its website, saying that the South Korean electronics maker didn’t steal the designs of the iPad after all. Apple has complied, but with a snarky tone that made sure to highlight a few facts in Apple’s favor.
For instance, Apple made sure to note that a German court ruling did find Samsung in violation of copying its patents, and of course, Apple mentioned its August win in the United States where Samsung was ordered to pay $1.05 billion in damages.
Apple even injected the fact that the UK judge thought Apple’s designs were cooler than Samsung’s.
Here’s Apple’s full note below, but you can also find it on its UK site here:
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.
The Apple-Samsung patent war began in April 2011 when Apple claimed Samsung was an “iPhone, iPad copycat.” More specifically, Apple said Samsung’s Galaxy S 4G, Epic 4G and Nexus smartphones infringed on Apple’s patents.
Apple worked pretty hard to ban Samsung’s smartphones and tablets around the world, and successfully accomplished this in countries like Germany and Australia. Samsung launched a few lawsuits of its own regarding 3G patents, and was also able to lift the ban on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia in December 2011. However, Samsung wasn’t so lucky in Germany, where the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is still banned.
Back in August, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California reached an unfavorable verdict for Samsung, saying that the South Korean electronics maker was guilty of violating technology patents. In other words, most of Samsung’s smartphones and tablets in question were found guilt of copying Apple’s iPhone and iPad designs. It was ordered to pay $1.05 billion in damages to Apple.
Earlier this week, Samsung Display decided to cut ties with Apple, saying it will no longer ship LCDs to Apple next year. Its LCD shipments to Apple have been cut more and more over time due to Apple wanting huge discounts.
However, just yesterday, an ITC judge in the U.S. ruled that Samsung violated four Apple patents, including the flat front face with wider borders at the top and bottom, the lozenge-shaped speaker about the display screen; the translucent images for applications displayed on the screen, and the device’s ability to detect when a headset is plugged in.
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