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Samsung tablets don’t infringe Apple’s patents – official

That’s according to Apple. We checked. Going to Apple’s site, you find a lot of PR spin about Samsung not being as cool as Apple, but – in the end – the conclusion is very clear and simple. KitGuru dons a barrister’s wig and prances around the office with a black sheet.

If you want to know how to come second in a 2 horse race, then it seems to need to engage the services of Michael Silverleaf QC and Richard Hacon (who appear to work on behalf of something called Freshfields). These two lost unceremoniously to Samsung’s legal team and, as a result, their client not only has to confirm on its own web site that Samsung didn’t infringe its patent – Apple also has to take out a series of adverts confirming the same.

Whoops.

The final judgement is as close to a ‘page turner’ as any dry legal document can get, but it’s conclusion is mercifully swift and accurate.

Case for Samsung
That there will be certain similarities for any product in this market with tablet-type functionality, but that its designs were created and conceived by Samsung and were not copies of Apple or anyone else’s products.

Case for Apple
Michael Silverleaf QC and Richard Hacon looked to argue vigorously, on Apple’s behalf, that the overall impression you get from using one of these Samsung tablets in the same as you get from an Apple product. In other words that the Samsung products have been copied from Apple’s designs and that the court should rule in Apple’s favour.

Result?
Best illustrated with a graphic we feel. This is a screen grab of the conclusion of the High Court’s ruling (with a few extra images thrown in to make sure you can clearly see who won and who lost):-

If you wanted to write a book on how to lose a massive case for Apple, you might want to try background research with a company called Freshfields. Mick and Dick, apparently.

When played out in other expert courts?
Apple is keen on litigation and has pursued Samsung through several of Europe’s most respected courts, with a similar ruling in each case.  In Germany,  the Düsseldorf Court of Appeal decided there was no infringement. Apple also went to play in Holland, but was met with a double whammy. Not only did the Netherlands court say that Samsung was innocent – Apple went back a second time on appeal, lost and was told the same thing. No Samsung infringement.

Final Word?
According to Apple’s own web site, the ruling in the British High Court “…has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012…  …There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe”. In other words, Samsung’s designs are fine with Apple and there is no restriction on the sale of Samsung products throughout the European Union. That’s according to Apple.

Apple also said that Samsung’s designs are nice and thin. That’s always good to hear, right?

We’ll leave you with front and back shots of the products being discussed, just for yourself if you could be fooled into buying a Galaxy, thinking it was an iPad:-


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KitGuru says: The world’s legal system is now in a very strange situation. Going into battle, Apple and its lawyers were pushing hard to say that the products were identical enough to fool people. Now Apple has lost in Germany, lost in Holland and in the British High Court (to a ruling that carries for the whole European Union) – it seems to be trying to set up a message in future advertising which says “Very different. Apple is much better. Look, the courts said so”. If you were working with Samsung’s legal teams in Apple’s backyard, the USA, surely these new ‘Apple confirms Samsung difference’ adverts will be exhibits 1, 2 and 3.

Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.

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