Samsung did not copy 'cool' Apple iPad, court rules

 

Samsung's Galaxy tablet computer is not “cool” enough to be confused with Apple's iPad, a judge has ruled.

The American electronics giant had argued the Samsung Galaxy Tab was too similar to their own product, but the claim was dismissed today at London's High Court.

Judge Colin Birss QC said: "They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."

He said consumers were not likely to get the two tablet computers mixed up and ruled the Samsung tablets do not infringe Apple's registered 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," he said.

"The overall impression produced is different."

The judge said that while the Tab and iPad look similar from the front, he noted differences in the thickness and details on the backs of the devices.

"There are some minor differences but to my eye there are two major differences. The most important difference between the Samsung Galaxy tablets and the Apple design is the thinness of the Galaxy tablets. The next most significant difference is the detailing on the back of each of the tablets."

The judge added: "To an informed user, the Galaxy tabs do not merely look like a thin version of the Apple design, they look like a different, thinner design of product."

He said he had questioned if those two differences were enough to overcome the similarity of the front of the devices and the overall shape of them.

Apple had argued that the front face and overall shape were the most important factors because the informed user would spend the most time looking at the front and holding it.

The judge said he did regard the overall shape as very significant but said there there was a very obvious visual similarity at the front.

"In my judgment the key to this case is the strength or significance of that similarity. As I have said, the significance of the near identity of the front surfaces of these products is reduced to a degree by the existence of similar fronts in the design corpus. The question is - to what degree?

"This case illustrates the importance of properly taking into account the informed user's knowledge and experience of the design corpus. When I first saw the Samsung products in this case I was struck by how similar they look to the Apple design when they are resting on a table. They look similar because they both have the same front screen. It stands out.

"However, to the informed user (which at that stage I was not) these screens do not stand out to anything like the same extent. The front view of the Apple design takes its place amongst its kindred prior art."

Apple has been given 21 days to appeal against the decision.

A spokeswoman for Samsung welcomed the ruling and accused Apple of "excessive legal claims".

She said: "Samsung welcomes today's judgment, which affirms our position that our Galaxy Tab products do not infringe Apple's registered design right. As the ruling proves, the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.

"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."

An Apple spokesman said he would not comment specifically on today's ruling but reiterated the company's earlier claims against Samsung: "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.

"This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

Apple is bringing similar action against Samsung in Germany and the Netherlands.

PA

Suggested Topics
Arts & Entertainment
William Shakespeare's influence on English culture is still strongly felt today, from his plays on stage to words we use everyday
arts
Voices
voices Furore is yet another example of shameful Westminster evasion, says Nigel Farage
News
weird news... and film it, obviously
News
Matthew Mcnulty and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Jamaica Inn'
mediaHundreds complain over dialogue levels in period drama
VIDEO
News
peopleJay Z and Beyoncé to buy £5.5m London townhouse
Voices
voicesMoyes' tragedy is one the Deputy PM understands all too well, says Matthew Norman
Arts & Entertainment
Rocker of ages: Chuck Berry
musicWhy do musicians play into old age?
News
peopleMan repeatedly tried to enter her homes in Los Angeles and London
Arts & Entertainment
With Jo Joyner in 'Trying Again'
tvHe talks to Alice Jones on swapping politics for pillow talk
News
Jilly's jewels: gardener Alan Titchmarsh
peopleCountry Life magazine's list of 'gallant' public figures throws light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
Sport
John Terry goes down injured in the 70th minute
sportAtletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0: Blues can finish the job at Stamford Bridge, but injuries to Terry and Cech are a concern for Mourinho
Student
student
News
<b>Rebecca Adlington</b>
<br />This, the first British swimmer to win two
Olympic gold medals in 100 years, is the eversmiling
face of the athletes who will, we're
confident, make us all proud at London 2012
peopleRebecca Adlington on 'nose surgery'
Arts & Entertainment
tvJudge for yourself
Life & Style
tech
News
Tough call: is the psychological distress Trott is suffering an illness? (Getty)
healthJonathan Trott and the problems of describing mental illness
Life & Style
23 April 2014: Google marks St George's Day with a drawing depicting England's patron saint slaying a fire-breathing dragon
tech
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Projects Financial Analyst - Global Technology firm

    £55000 - £62000 per annum + outstanding benefits and bonus: Pro-Recruitment Gr...

    Commercial B2B Pricing Specialist - Global Bids and Tenders

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + excellent company benefits : Pro-Recruitment Group...

    Senior Finance Business Partner / Projects Analyst

    £55000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Pro-Recruitment Group: Senior Fi...

    SQL DBA Lead Database Administrator (SQL, UNIX, Sybase, T-SQL)

    Negotiable: Harrington Starr: SQL DBA Lead Database Administrator (SQL, UNIX, ...

    Day In a Page

    Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home

    It's not always fun in the sun: Moving abroad does not guarantee happiness

    Brits who migrate to Costa del Sol more unhappy than those who stay at home
    Migrants in Britain a decade on: They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire

    Migrants in Britain a decade on

    They came, they worked, they stayed in Lincolnshire
    Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

    Chris Addison on swapping politics for pillow talk

    The 'Thick of It' favourite thinks the romcom is an 'awful genre'. So why is he happy with a starring role in Sky Living's new Lake District-set series 'Trying Again'?
    Why musicians play into their old age

    Why musicians play into their old age

    Nick Hasted looks at how they are driven by a burning desire to keep on entertaining fans despite risking ridicule
    How can you tell a gentleman?

    How can you tell a gentleman?

    A list of public figures with gallant attributes by Country Life magazine throws a fascinating light on what it means to be a gentleman in the modern world
    Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

    Pet a porter: posh pet pampering

    The duo behind Asos and Achica have launched a new venture offering haute couture to help make furry companions fashionable
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    The mutiny that sent a ripple of fear through the Empire
    Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

    Hot stuff: 10 best kettles

    Celebrate St George’s Day with a nice cup of tea. Now you just need to get the water boiled
    Sam Wallace: Why Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term

    Sam Wallace

    Why Ryan Giggs is perfect fit as Manchester United boss... in the longer term
    Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

    Renaud Lavillenie: The sky's the limit for this pole vaulter's ambitions

    Having smashed Sergei Bubka's 21-year-old record, the French phenomenon tells Simon Turnbull he can go higher
    Through the screen: British Pathé opens its archives

    Through the screen

    British Pathé opens its archives
    The man behind the papier mâché mask

    Frank Sidebottom

    The man behind the papier mâché mask
    Chris Marker: Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

    Mystic film-maker with a Midas touch

    Chris Marker retrospective is a revelation
    Boston runs again: Thousands take to the streets for marathon as city honours dead and injured of last year's bombing

    Boston runs again

    Thousands of runners take to the streets as city honours dead of last year
    40 years of fostering and still holding the babies (and with no plans to retire)

    40 years of fostering and holding the babies

    In their seventies and still working as specialist foster parents