October 18, 2012
Apple Appeal Denied, Forced To Publicly Apologize To Samsung
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
This summer, one hip judge handed down a ruling, declaring Samsung´s Galaxy Tab “not as cool” as Apple´s iPad. The story was the source of many an eye catching headline and predictable jokes. While Samsung did leave that day with a bit of a bruised reputation, they were able to walk away scoring a victory in Judge Birss´ court. Though he likely didn´t see the allure of the Tab over the iPad, he did rule they were different enough and found Samsung was not guilty of lifting their design from Apple.
Apple will leave the UK burned once more as the Court of Appeal in the British High Court upheld Judge Birss´ original decision, saying the Samsung tablet does not infringe on any of Apple´s design patents. Worse, Apple must now run ads across the pond to apologize for slandering the good name of Samsung, the second part of Judge Birss´ July ruling.
With this final decision, the ruling stands throughout Europe and, according to Reuters, will prevent the same sort of legal row from happening between the 2 companies.
In a statement, Samsung said, “We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners”.
Speaking with BBC News, a Samsung representative went further, saying: "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."
Apple was not present for comment.
According to the BBC, the Court of Appeals decided to uphold the original July ruling so as not to cause confusion in customers´ minds, citing the battle between the two companies in Germany.
Now, Apple must set about running advertisements in publications such as the Daily Mail, the Financial Times and even their own website, Apple.com.
"The acknowledgment must come from the horse's mouth," said a spokesperson for the Court of Appeals.
"Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely."
The courts were kind enough to mention Apple´s apology needn´t be so large so as to clutter the otherwise crisp and clean layout of their Web site.
Three judges were responsible for striking down Apple´s latest appeal in the UK. Sticking to the same issues, Apple argued that the Galaxy Tab had a similar face and similar overall structure of the iPad. While the Tab might have distinct differences, such as the back plate, the front face and overall feel of the device are what´s important, argued Apple.
One of the three judges spoke with the BBC, saying the amount of publicity this case – and other cases like it – has gotten spurred them to rule in the way they did.
"It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad,” exclaimed Sir Robin Jacob. ““¦The issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law."
"So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products."