Apple and Samsung are engaged in a global war over intellectual property and patent infringement associated with smartphones and tablets. In the European campaign, Apple looks to have lost its battle, and has now been forced to make a public apology to Samsung.
Britain's Court of Appeal upheld a lower court's ruling that despite some similarities, Samsung did not infringe upon Apple's designs with its Galaxy tablet. In a backhanded victory, the court basically said Samsung could not have copied Apple because the Samsung product was simply "not as cool," reports Reuters.
The British court's ruling is valid throughout Europe and is expected to end the legal dispute in that region.
Samsung welcomed the decision and seemed to ignore the comment about its products not being as cool. A Samsung spokesperson implied that Apple's lawsuit was based solely on the rectangular shape of its tablets with the rounded corners, and failed to mention any of the underlying technology within, reports Reuters.
Apple did not comment on the decision and is now instructed to run advertisement apologies saying Samsung did not copy its registered tablet designs, both on its website and in newspapers. It will be interesting to see how Apple's marketing department sends out these apologies and whether it issues them straight or issues them with a thinly veiled shot.
Over the summer, Apple won its patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung in the U.S. Samsung was ordered to pay over a billion in damages and Apple sought an injunction against several Samsung late-model phones.
While Apple won that case, the U.S. decision carries no weight in foreign courts. A court in the U.K. may read the American decision, but it has no obligation to follow it.
So the global war rages on between the two consumer products giants. By the time all the litigation is complete, some currently unknown challenger may rise up to reign supreme, like the U.S. gaining global supremacy in the aftermath of World War 2.
- Apple Forced to Run Public Apology in 14pt Arial (Gizmodo)
- Apple Ordered to Make Public Apology to Samsung (Lawyerist)
- Samsung Wants Apple Verdict Thrown Out, Claims Foreman Lied (FindLaw's Technologist)