U.K. Colin Birss ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe of Apple's iPad design because -- Samsung's Galaxy Tab isn't cool enough to be confused with the iPad. Bloomberg has the quote:
The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said. “They are not as cool.”
Apple has called Samsung a copyist, alleging their manufacturing partner simply apes everything Apple does in an attempt to grow market share by being the most Apple-like of the non-Apple alternatives. Attempts between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-Sung to negotiate a settlement have failed. Apple has since won some temporarily injunctions in the U.S. over patents.
Although Samsung has been going in different directions recently, it's undeniable they've copied Apple designs to a ludicrous extent in the past, though it's far from certain doing so was illegal, let alone the primary reason for their success.
The late Steve Jobs famously called Android in general "grand theft" and vowed to go "thermonuclear" on them in court. Tim Cook has been cooler but no less serious, saying Apple can't be "developer to the world" and that competitors need to invent their own stuff.
Samsung is a giant company that makes everything from tablets to phones to refrigerators. Refrigerators tend to look remarkably alike. I wonder if anyone at Samsung even though twice about their smartphones or tablets looking like Apple's? Or if they thought making them look alike was actually a feature -- a benefit to users? Did they even think Apple would sue over trade dress?
How many refrigerator companies sue each other over design?