A judge at the High Court in London had originally ruled in July that the look of Samsung's Galaxy Tab computers was not too similar to designs registered in connection with the iPad.
The last time Apple and Samsung went head to head in a London courtroom, the judge ruled that the Galaxy Tab has its fair share of unique design traits and stated that they weren’t as “cool” because they lacked “extreme simplicity.”
All criticisms of the Galaxy Tab's coolness and complexity aside; Judge Birss declared that the devices had their fair share of differences and Samsung was victorious. As a result of Samsung's victory, Birss stated that a notice had to be placed on Apple's website for at least half a year, while other adverts should be placed in various magazines and newspapers specifically stating that Samsung did not infringe on patents by Apple as compensation for tarnishing Samsung’s reputation. Additionally, a spokesperson for Samsung went on to say:
"We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that 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."
Court of Appeal and why Apple lost
The court case itself didn’t stop in July, as Apple appealed their case. Three judges were involved in this Court of Appeal review and as of today, we can reveal why Apple lost the case according to one of the judges involved in the review; he even happens to own an iPad:
"Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about," wrote Sir Robin Jacob.
"It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law."
"So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products."
So how well is Apple doing with all these lawsuits?
Well, long-story-short, Apple has lost a series of lawsuits against Samsung based on the design of their tablets. These court cases include the ones held in the Netherlands, Australia, and the US; despite winning temporary sales bans. However, Apple has been successful with its software patents, and more notably, everyone should remember the proposal a US jury made which ruled that Samsung had to pay Apple a $1.05 billion (£650 Million) fine. Since then, Samsung has appealed against the ruling and is waiting for the review, so no payment to Apple has happened yet.
Samsung’s main problem, based on the court cases, is that its software designs infringe patents. Until Samsung changes its software design, it can look forward to that public apology from Apple.