Apple loses appeal in UK court, must place ad stating Samsung didn't copy iPad

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?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Joseph Keller

Joseph Keller is a news reporter for iMore. He's also chilling out and having a sandwich.

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Reader comments

Apple loses appeal in UK court, must place ad stating Samsung didn't copy iPad

40 Comments

It might make companies think twice before litigation, as monetary fines are useless. This is a far more effective deterrent. I think it's a cracking idea - and it could be any company here, Samsung or otherwise.

I was working for a Korean company for over 20 years... they think they are best in everything ...but only they are best in is: eating dogs and copy-cats ... believe me ...DUDE

BS? I think its pretty funny. Take off your blinders everyone, Apple is not perfect, neither is any other company in this industry.

Isn't this the suit where the judge ruled that there was no copying because the Samsung devices 'were not cool enough'? If so, I'd run the ad with that.

nice one ... or how about : * Samskunk fail to copy the iPad * or :*Samy the Skunk was too dumb to copy the iPad* ;)

Hey Joseph: how about posting a story about the FBI warning about Android?
Or would that be the responsibility of Android Central?

Mr.Hildebrand does not explain the real problem here: major difference AndrOS versus iOS is that iOS apps are sand-boxed , which means: can't talk to each other... but on andrOS they can... so the malware can spread like a bush fire across all Androdevises... that is the major disadvantage of being open ... he also says: * if U see something strange don't install it.*.. sounds like he is a smart cooky ... but apps don't have : malware written on it ....DUDE... they would be masked as free app version of an paid app that U always wanted but was too tight to pay for... in one of so many androstores all over the web... it's easier to call FBI dumb-asses( U really think FBI don't know how apps works ???)... then to tell the truth to U'r andro-freaking fanboys and blind followers ... I do understand

I could logically and factually state why you are wrong on so many levels. Instead, I'll use middle school lingo so you can actually comprehend what's being said......

You're an idiot!

Thing is, there aren't any "levels" to that comment. Get over yourself.

And if you are ever capable of engaging in adult conversation someday, let me know.

How about, "Samsung didn't rip off the iPad. Good try though."?

In all seriousness this is still a bs ruling. I don't see how Apple is the one getting punished for another company ripping off their designs.

The lawsuit was BS.. I am one that is tired of all this "Let's sue our competitors so we can have the market to ourselves." The form factor of rectangle touchscreen device is just obviously what the public wants. So does everyone that produces a tablet need to choose a different shape, circle, trianlge, hexagon?

I think these companies need to simply focus on making the best product they can for US, the consumer. We will support the best product for our needs. Governments need to also evaluate how they hand out patents. Inspect the patent and see if they are actually attempting to patent something unique and original; or simply trying to gain patents that make it harder for anyone to compete.

Re: "The form factor of rectangle touchscreen device is just obviously what the public wants. "

This is how Samsung's lawyers tried to dumb down Apple's case.
Didn't fool the jury. Won't fool us.

Maybe Judge Colin Birss's family was under attacked by Korean mafia or probably received money under table. :p

I would do just that.

"After a long drawn out legal battle, the court has ruled that Samsung did not copy our design. The court stated that it's reasons are that the Samsung product that we accused them of copying was just not cool enough. We are OK, with the courts ruling."

Samsung did NOT copy Apple. Any idiot that can't see SAMSUNG in bold, capital text across the front and back of a Galaxy Tab should be at fault, not Samsung. It's even meant to be held in landscape orientation as opposed to portrait orientation of the iPad. I use Apple products, but gosh, people need to get off of Apple's d**k. I don't know too many ways a rectangle with a screen can look. Who says Apple is the only one that can have a black or white polygon with curved edges? That is too generic. I'm glad the people of some European legal systems seem to have common sense.

Well-said. Justice was served today in the UK, and in effect, the EU. I just hope that justice will soon be served in the US, and the jury-of-one's verdict will either be reversed, or thrown out, and a new trial ordered, in which ALL evidence will be allowed. Today's ruling made sense.

iOS user here & couldnt agree more!! This back & forth just needs to stop, but thanks to the "wonderful" patent systems I dont see that happening any time in the near future. It's broken but nobody has the balls to fix it.

While I agree that these lawsuits are ridiculous, the rectangular, touchscreen tablet is only obvious because one company put one out first. That is all.

Didn't Ive even say once something to the effect that they try to design products in such a way that, even though it has never been done before, once it's done, it's obvious that is how it should have been done all along?

And if it truly is the obvious way of doing things, why did no one do so before?

"And if it truly is the obvious way of doing things, why did no one do so before?"

Because nobody thought there was a market for what amounted to an oversized iPod. Previous tablets were much bulkier due to the hardware requirements of running a full PC OS on them. A design like the iPad was not an option.

They were wrong of course about that market, but that is why.

I think if you read, you'll find that the judge said that prior art showed the form factor that apple as used. I could easily turn around and say apple copied the design of a flatscreen TV and made it smaller! its a rectangle with a screen, you dont see TV companies taking each other to court! that is why this is ridiculous!

I agree. The law suits are ridiculous.

But in the TV space, while they all look similar, they also each have their own feel. LG sets look like LG sets, Samsung like Samsung.

What gets me about the Samsung product are the little things they didn't need to 'copy' - sounds petty, even to myself as I type this, but is my feeling. Why did Samsung need to use a 30-pin 'dock' connector that, as far as I know, Apple was the first to use in 2001?

I disagree there. Maybe a TV expert can pick out the subtle differences between TV brands, but most people would find that impossible without the names on them.

That said, yeah, a LOT of Korean products started life as copycats. It's much easier to break into a market that way. Conserve your R&D dollars until the market starts to mature and then bombard the competition with updates at such a fast rate they can't keep up. It's a pretty successful strategy. Sometimes there is a fine line between legal and not. In this particular case, I think it's pretty clear Apple overreached.

No I'm not Korean but I have been there. I try to avoid Korean products out of principle due to personal observations over the years. That doesn't mean Apple had a case here.

I was working for Korean companies for over 20 years... bin there many times... they think they are the greatest in everything ...but only, what they are really good in... is: eating dogs and copy-cats ... believe me ...DUDE

finally other ppl get it all apple does is buy companys out and put a patent on it ....they're still to tight to do anything new boring OS i'll take any andriod with sw gingerbread and higher trust me

Hey... androlol... thats exactly is Googlevil's strategy, that's why they payed 16 Bio for MOTO...DUDE
why don't U just crawl back in to this creepy green garbage-skip and enjoy your sweet waste !!!

This so called judge has lice in his wig the size of cockroaches chewing away at his brain
He has been drinking the Thames water too long
I won't be surprised some sammysungcopy agent loaded his back pocket for this BS ruling.

Samsung have been playing catch up with everything Apple's done since Apple started in the personal electronics industry. They clearly also copied iPad.