Samsung won a major victory today against Apple, after the High Court of England & Wales ruled that its Galaxy Tab slates do not infringe on Apple’s intellectual property.
Apple’s longstanding accusations that Samsung ‘slavishly’ copies the design of its iPad for the Galaxy Tab range were categorically dismissed by Judge Colin Birss, who ruled there are "clear differences" between the two products, which he said were “apparent to the naked eye”.
"From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back," Birss said.
The court referred some 50 examples of preliminary art and designs from before 2004, including the famous Knight Ridder (1994), to rebuff Apple’s claims that Samsung copies design elements of the iPad such as 'slightly rounded corners,' 'a thin profile’ and 'a flat transparent surface without any ornamentation'.
Samsung said in a statement: "Samsung welcomes today’s ruling by the High Court, which affirms Samsung’s commitment to protect its own intellectual property rights while respecting those of other companies.
“Samsung believes Apple’s excessive legal claims based on such a generic design right can harm not only the industry’s innovation as a whole, but also unduly limit consumer choice."
Apple’s courtroom reverse comes as a US court lifted a ban on the Google Galaxy Nexus – also developed by Samsung – after it was temporarily suspended from sale over allegations of patent violations.
The two electronics makers have been embroiled in a lengthy legal tug of war across the globe since April 2011. Samsung has so far managed to fight back Apple at every stage, even countersuing the Cupertino-based giant on several occasions over its own copyright misdeeds.
Frankly we’d all like these two to stop squabbling and get back to actually innovating, even if it means looking over each other’s shoulders once in a while. In the end, competition benefits the consumers, so long as it’s healthy.