Ordered by a UK court to admit publicly that Samsung hasn’t copied its product designs, Apple has released a statement on its website (and in newspapers) acknowledging that the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled in favor of Samsung simply because the latter’s designs are “not as cool” as Apple’s.
A letter titled bluntly “Samsung / Apple UK judgment” is now available on Apple’s UK website stating, “On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (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.”
After linking to a copy of the full judgment of the High court (www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html), Apple proceeds to mention some of the important points made by the judge comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products.
According to the judge, “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 judge said.
The public officer continued alleging that the informed user's overall impression of each of Samsung tablets, when viewed from the front, is that “they belong to the family which includes the Apple design.”
However, the judge said, “the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back.”
He then specifically outlined that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” adding that “They are not as cool.”
Apple acknowledges that said judgment has effect among members of the European Union as upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012, adding that “There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.”
Before ending its statement, the Cupertino giant is careful to point out that a German judge presiding over a similar case involving Apple’s and Samsung’s designs 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.,” the iPad maker also notes.
“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,” Apple concludes.