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Samsung Wins UK Tablet Victory Because "It's Not Cool"

By - Source: Reuters | B 42 comments

As insulting as it may be, Samsung has won a small victory against Apple in the UK.

Despite several setbacks here in the States that led to at least one product ban, Samsung saw a small victory in its patents war with Apple on Monday.

Over in the UK, British High Court Judge Colin Birss ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab Android-powered tablets definitely belonged in the same family as Apple's iPad when viewed from the front. But when the Galaxy Tabs are compared to Apple's gadget from the side, it's "very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back."

In fact, the judge indicated that Samsung's tablets just aren't as "cool," and therefore no infringement is taking place. Was that comment insulting to Samsung? Probably. Will the company take what it can get at this point? Most definitely.

"They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool," Judge Birss said. "The overall impression produced is different."

Naturally Apple wasn't pleased with the verdict, as it still insists that Samsung is violating several of its patents. The company wouldn't offer a statement regarding Monday's ruling either, but provided its stance on Samsung instead.

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," the company said. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual properties when companies steal our ideas."

The two companies have been disputing over Android-related patents for many years across ten countries. Currently Samsung is banned from selling the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 here in the States, but on Friday the company was given the green light to continue the sales of its new Galaxy Nexus smartphone for the immediate future.

"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," Samsung said in a statement.

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  • 19 Hide
    lilotimz , July 9, 2012 10:02 PM
    No actual quotes from the judge's statements?
    /dissapoint
    Quote:
    In a ruling on July 9, 2012, the High Court of England & Wales sided with Samsung that the designs of the Galaxy Tab series of products are 'different' from an Apple tablet design, and do not infringe Apple’s Registered Community Design No. 181607-0001. Samsung products subject to this trial were the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7."Samsung had requested this voluntary trial in September 2011, in order to oppose Apple’s ongoing efforts to reduce consumer choice and innovation in the tablet market through their excessive legal claims and arguments. Apple has insisted that the three Samsung tablet products infringe several features of Apple’s design right, such as 'slightly rounded corners,' 'a flat transparent surface without any ornamentation,' and 'a thin profile.'"However, the High Court dismissed Apple’s arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, or designs that were previously created or patented, from before 2004. These include the Knight Ridder (1994), the Ozolin (2004), and HP’s TC1000 (2003). The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, and numerous identical design features to have been visible in a wide range of earlier tablet designs from before 2004."Equally important, the court also found distinct differences between the Samsung and Apple tablet designs, which the court claimed were apparent to the naked eye. For instance, the court cited noticeable differences in the front surface design and in the thinness of the side profile. The court found the most vivid differences in the rear surface design, a part of tablets that allows designers a high degree of freedom for creativity, as there are no display panels, buttons, or any technical functions. Samsung was recognised by the court for having leveraged such conditions of the rear surface to clearly differentiate its tablet products through 'visible detailing.'
  • 16 Hide
    ddpruitt , July 9, 2012 9:31 PM
    Apple, "It's fine if we outright steal someone else's stuff and call it our own (Mac, Ipod, etc) but if you make something with a screen and a case we'll sue you for infringement"
  • 15 Hide
    jamoise , July 9, 2012 11:18 PM
    nuvonReally? Samsung didn't get any of its ideas from Apple?


    Really? Apple didn't get any of its ideas from Microsofts Tablet in 2002?
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    blazorthon , July 9, 2012 9:20 PM
    Apple's advantage always has included being considered more cool. Regardless, congradulations on the victory, Samsung, regardless of how small it is. I don't think that Samsung's stuff is really as similar to Apple's as some have said and this seems to support that view.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , July 9, 2012 9:23 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," the company said. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual properties when companies steal our ideas."


    Apple does not own the rights to Tablets, They've been here before the iPad.

    Apple does not own the rights to Ultrabooks as well...........hopefully they dont start suing people after granted their newest "patent " on it


    Having read into the new patent a little, it was actually a more specific than it is often given credit for.
  • 16 Hide
    ddpruitt , July 9, 2012 9:31 PM
    Apple, "It's fine if we outright steal someone else's stuff and call it our own (Mac, Ipod, etc) but if you make something with a screen and a case we'll sue you for infringement"
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 9, 2012 9:33 PM
    Ouch?
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 9, 2012 9:44 PM
    haha "Apple's intellectual property" haha
    If they cannot compete in price/consumer benefit, they should do something else.
    By the way: the white rounded charging plugs look absolutely gay!
  • 4 Hide
    nuvon , July 9, 2012 9:53 PM
    Really? Samsung didn't get any of its ideas from Apple?
  • 19 Hide
    lilotimz , July 9, 2012 10:02 PM
    No actual quotes from the judge's statements?
    /dissapoint
    Quote:
    In a ruling on July 9, 2012, the High Court of England & Wales sided with Samsung that the designs of the Galaxy Tab series of products are 'different' from an Apple tablet design, and do not infringe Apple’s Registered Community Design No. 181607-0001. Samsung products subject to this trial were the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7."Samsung had requested this voluntary trial in September 2011, in order to oppose Apple’s ongoing efforts to reduce consumer choice and innovation in the tablet market through their excessive legal claims and arguments. Apple has insisted that the three Samsung tablet products infringe several features of Apple’s design right, such as 'slightly rounded corners,' 'a flat transparent surface without any ornamentation,' and 'a thin profile.'"However, the High Court dismissed Apple’s arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, or designs that were previously created or patented, from before 2004. These include the Knight Ridder (1994), the Ozolin (2004), and HP’s TC1000 (2003). The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, and numerous identical design features to have been visible in a wide range of earlier tablet designs from before 2004."Equally important, the court also found distinct differences between the Samsung and Apple tablet designs, which the court claimed were apparent to the naked eye. For instance, the court cited noticeable differences in the front surface design and in the thinness of the side profile. The court found the most vivid differences in the rear surface design, a part of tablets that allows designers a high degree of freedom for creativity, as there are no display panels, buttons, or any technical functions. Samsung was recognised by the court for having leveraged such conditions of the rear surface to clearly differentiate its tablet products through 'visible detailing.'
  • 14 Hide
    keither5150 , July 9, 2012 10:07 PM
    Nobody mistakenly buys a Samsung while shopping for an apple product. I find this article hard to believe. Judges are supposed to be impartial. It’s not proper for any judge to give his personal opinion. Just shows you the mentality of some apple fans. Even a judge can’t bite his tongue. BTW Judge, I have had and iphone 4 and now have a galaxy S2 and the S2 is superior in every way imaginable. Somehow Apple is applauded when they improve on a design, but anyone else shall be punished. How retarded is it to patent “ how it feels” Samsung should patent, “ Better in every way”
    Who else but apple would sue their supplier?
  • 9 Hide
    teh_chem , July 9, 2012 10:58 PM
    I don't even understand the purpose for the judge to say that. "Coolness" isn't a legal description since it's entirely subjective. And isn't the whole point of being a judge is being able to make non-subjective decisions?

    This part gets me: "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," the company said. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual properties when companies steal our ideas."

    If Apple honestly thinks that Android's UI is "alike" to iOS, then they don't even use their own devices. And TBH, the only real similarity I see between android and iOS are square tiles for shortcuts, and the pull-down tray that iOS blatantly stole from pre-existing android versions. Pot, meet kettle.
  • 7 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , July 9, 2012 11:10 PM
    I can't wait for all this "Apple owns minimalism" crap to blow over.
  • 15 Hide
    jamoise , July 9, 2012 11:18 PM
    nuvonReally? Samsung didn't get any of its ideas from Apple?


    Really? Apple didn't get any of its ideas from Microsofts Tablet in 2002?
  • 7 Hide
    alextheblue , July 9, 2012 11:33 PM
    nuvonReally? Samsung didn't get any of its ideas from Apple?
    I hate Apple, but I kind of have to agree with you here. There's a reason Samsung designed their devices to look like they do. The physical design was not created in a vacuum. Should they ban it as a result? Probably not. But it is a copycat design.
    jamoiseReally? Apple didn't get any of its ideas from Microsofts Tablet in 2002?
    Of course they did. I point this out to Apple fanboys all the time. I also point out crap that WM5 was doing before Android was released that Android fanboys act like Google created from thin air.

    But in terms of design, physical appearance, UI, etc, the Apple devices are quite different from oldschool slates. These Samsung tablets on the other hand, possess a lot of knockoff qualities. Again, I don't think they should be banned, but there's a bit of a difference in what they're doing vs what Apple did - at least in terms of physical device appearance and user interface.
  • -3 Hide
    belardo , July 9, 2012 11:47 PM
    Nobody, not a single person I know has ever mistaken any else to be an iPhone. A phone, yes. Nothing more. Same with tablets. The closest looking to an iPad was the HP Touchpad... but its slick cheap plastic was that. Samsung also uses plastic. Not even the MS tablet looks like an iPad.

    Does anyone mistake a Ford Mustang for a Chevy Camero? They are both direct competitors, same features & stats, same target buyers. They can't and don't sue each other. But if someone made a car that looked like the Mustang (to mass market) Ford would sue them - and rightfully so.
  • 4 Hide
    house70 , July 10, 2012 1:15 AM
    jkflipflop98That's why you're not a judge.

    yep...he's too smart to choose to be a judge.
  • 1 Hide
    livebriand , July 10, 2012 1:27 AM
    belardoNobody, not a single person I know has ever mistaken any else to be an iPhone. A phone, yes. Nothing more. Same with tablets. The closest looking to an iPad was the HP Touchpad... but its slick cheap plastic was that. Samsung also uses plastic. Not even the MS tablet looks like an iPad.Does anyone mistake a Ford Mustang for a Chevy Camero? They are both direct competitors, same features & stats, same target buyers. They can't and don't sue each other. But if someone made a car that looked like the Mustang (to mass market) Ford would sue them - and rightfully so.

    How different can you make two similar things? Also, a little funny thing there - notice how the Prius and the Honda Insight look VERY similar? Yeah... it's not like they took a few ideas from the Prius or anything...
  • 10 Hide
    darkavenger123 , July 10, 2012 1:30 AM
    Screw Apple. They're trying to patent a rectangle shape!! WTF!!! This is called an 'idea'??? Kids have been drawing rectangle since the invention of sticks and sands!
  • 8 Hide
    iceman1992 , July 10, 2012 1:52 AM
    Quote:
    we need to protect Apple's intellectual properties when companies steal our ideas.
    And yet it was Steve Jobs that said they loved stealing great ideas...
  • 4 Hide
    Onus , July 10, 2012 1:55 AM
    *Deleted*

    Sorry, I'm just so sick and tired of this patent game-playing...
  • 5 Hide
    Cons29 , July 10, 2012 2:11 AM
    THIS is what i have about apple, yes they do make good products, nice smooth user interface but man they are so full of themselves.
    Samsung might as well patent the 3.6in and above phones so apple would be stuck with their 3.5 (they are at 3.5in right? sorry, wouldnt know)
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