Apple’s legal campaign against Samsung backfired spectacularly yesterday, according to a report by Bloomberg, after being ordered to place a public a notice on its UK site and in several national newspapers alerting people to the High Court ruling on July 9 that Samsung didn’t copy the designs for the iPad.
Judge Colin Birss, who presided over the case between the two firms earlier this month said at the time that Samsung’s Galaxy tablet didn’t “have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design," and "the overall impression produced is different. They are not as cool,” adding that informed customers were unlikely to confuse the two devices.
He has ordered the Cupertino-based firm to display an outline of the court’s decision on the homepage of its UK website for six months in order to correct any impression among Britons that the South Korean electronics giant was copying Apple’s iPad.
At the conclusion of the July 9 High Court hearing, the American retailer had stated “it's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
While the precise content of the court-ordered notice is yet to be decided, Apple will also be required to publish the notice in several national newspapers and media publications, including the Financial Times, Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine and T3. Richard Hacon, representing the US retailer said in court that it amounted to advertising for Samsung, and “no company likes to refer to a rival on its website.”
The Judge declined to grant Samsung’s request for an injunction against Apple to prevent them making public statements that the Galaxy tablets infringed its design rights, saying “they are entitled to their opinion.”
“Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited,” Samsung said in a statement after the hearing, adding that the American firm’s previous comments have caused real commercial harm.
Apple did not respond to requests for further comment, but the company is expected to appeal the ruling.