Apple has lost an appeal against a UK ruling regarding the similarity of the Samsung Galaxy Tab line of tablets to the iPad, and will be forced to run ads acknowledging that Samsung did not, in fact, copy the iPad design. The decision comes after Apple appealed a July ruling by the High Court that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab line of tablets did not infringe on the iPad’s design. Apple will have to post a link to the original judgement on its UK website, as well as run ads in major publications, the BBC reports:
The US firm had previously been ordered to place a notice to that effect - with a link to the original judgement - on its website and place other adverts in the Daily Mail, Financial Times, T3 Magazine and other publications to "correct the damaging impression" that Samsung was a copycat.
The appeal judges decided not to overturn the decision on the basis that a related Apple design-rights battle in the German courts risked causing confusion in consumers' minds.
The three judges determined that the Galaxy Tab did not infringe on the iPad based on the tests for infringement under UK law. This included the fact that Samsung’s logo is on the front of their device, where Apple’s registered design states that there should be “no ornamentation”, and also that the Apple’s design features a “sharp edge”, which the Galaxy Tab does not. The Samsung design was also said to be “altoghether busier” than that of the iPad. Apple can still choose to appeal this decision to the UK Supreme Court.
Despite some victories Apple has lost a number of lawsuits to Samsung in a number of countries over tablet design. It should be noted that even in the case of the win in the US, Samsung was found not to have infringed on the iPad’s design, and their loss was entirely because the jury felt that they had infringed on the iPhone.
So was the Court of Appeal right in their decision that Samsung did not copy the iPad? Should Apple be forced to publicy acknowledge this on their website and in the press?