July 10, 2012

It’s Official: Samsung’s Tablet Isn’t Cool

Michael Harper for - Your Universe Online

In a way that only someone with a British accent could, a London judge has kindly and politely handed down judgement in the Apple v Samsung case, with a side of denigration.

North Korea´s Samsung Electronics finally won a battle against Apple in a London court as the two continue their international tour of patent warfare. The odd twist in this story, however, is the way the judge gave what will likely be the most iconic back-handed ruling committed to the books.

One of Apple´s biggest complaints against Samsung is that their devices look a little too much like Apple´s, a fact which can be confirmed with a simple Google search. According to Judge Colin Birss, Samsung´s products–more specifically, their Tab 10.1–doesn´t look like Apple´s iPad.

And now, for the money quote:

"They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design," said Judge Birss.

They are not as cool.

Continuing, Judge Birss said the tablets in question did look like iPads from the front, but when turned around, they were “very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back.”

"The overall impression produced is different."

Apple will now have 21 days to appeal this ruling if they still plan to have the devices blocked in the UK.

Keeping their heads high, Samsung issued a statement, welcoming Judge Birss´ ruling.

"Samsung welcomes today's judgment, which affirms our position that our Galaxy Tab products do not infringe Apple's registered design right.”

"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."

Keeping with the trend of this case, Apple declined to comment about this specific ruling, but did reiterate their position on the suit, saying that there was “no coincidence” that Samsung´s products looked an awful lot like Apple´s products.

Minus, of course, the fact that they aren´t cool.

Last week, Apple lost another case with in the UK with HTC over their “slide-to-unlock” patent. Judge Christopher Floyd not only ruled that HTC didn´t infringe on an Apple patent with any phone with the slide-to-unlock feature, he went on to say that 3 out of the 4 patents Apple alleges were infringed upon aren´t even valid.

In the US, Apple has had better luck against Samsung, as California District Court Judge Lucy Koh placed a ban on Samsung´s Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy Nexus smartphone. Samsung appealed her decision, of course, and it was announced late last week that the ban against the smartphone is to be lifted.

Apple has until July 12th to respond to this appeal in order to have the ban once more imposed.

Though the ban against the smartphone was lifted, Koh has decided to enforce her ban against the tablets.

It´s hard to tell, however, if Apple truly sees this as a loss. Though they weren´t able to persuade a judge to place a ban on the tablets, they were able to have a judge officially rule that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn´t have the same “understated and extreme simplicity” as the iPad. In the end, isn´t that what Steve would have wanted?