British Judge: Samsung Tab Design 'Not As Cool' As iPad
Judge ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe on Apple's design patents because it isn't as 'cool' as the iPad.
The judge agreed that the two are in the same family of devices, but only when looked at head-on. When viewed from either the side or the back, the differences between the Galaxy Tab and the iPad are enough to suggest that Apple's design language wasn't copied.
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"They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool," said Judge Birss in his ruling. "The overall impression produced is different."
[ For more on the Samsung-Apple dispute, see Samsung Enjoined From Selling Galaxy Tab 10.1 In U.S. ]
Judge Birss's words no doubt have left their own impression on Samsung's tablet design team. For the judge to call them out as "not cool" could mean the people behind the Galaxy Tab will soon be out of a job, if they aren't already. Cache can be important when it comes to hardware design. Tablets and phones that don't look good may not sell as well as their slimmer, sexier peers, but I personally don't think there's anything wrong with Samsung's design. You can only do so much with the tablet/phone form factor, after all.
Samsung was obviously pleased with the judge's decision, despite the insult to the Galaxy Tab's design. "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," the company said in a statement.
For its part, Apple didn't offer new comments regarding the matter, but pointed to statements it has made earlier about Samsung's devices.
"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," the company said in legal filings made earlier this year. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual properties when companies steal our ideas."
Apple has 21 days to appeal the decision.
Though Samsung won in the U.K., it didn't in the U.S. Late last month, a judge temporarily banned sales of the Galaxy Tab pending a trial between Apple and Samsung scheduled to begin July 30.
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