In a case of eating humble pie, Apple lost its appeal in the UK. They have been ordered by the courts to post a message on their web site, which is shown below. As part of the courts ruling, Apple must also advertise this in magazines and newspapers in the UK. This could be considered as a defining moment in the long war between Samsung and Apple, but more than likely, the continuing battles between the two will continue.
This goes back to a court decision back in July, which Apple had appealed. In that lawsuit, Apple was claiming that Samsung copied the iPad in creating the Galaxy Tab. The decision to have Apple post the message was an attempt to help Samsung recover from the damage to their reputation and lost sales. In reality, this will hopefully boost the sales for Samsung and improve their reputation in the UK.
Now that Samsung has gotten an apology from Apple, things continue on. Though their business relationship where Samsung supplies Apple with components for their products looks to be ending. It will remain to be seen as to whether these two giants of technology continue to file lawsuits over patent infringements rather than to market better products. The new normal is to file lawsuits to slow down the competition. And it looks like this new normal is going to continue for a long time.
Here is the text from the Apple page in the UK or you can go to the web site and view it for yourself. This web page is required to remain for a period of 1 month.
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.