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UK judge says Samsung tablet not 'cool' enough to be mistaken for iPad

post #1 of 126
Thread Starter 
A U.K. judge has found that the Samsung Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe on Apple's design patents, and added that it isn't "cool" enough to be confused with the design of the iPad.

Judge Colin Birss ruled on Monday in London that consumers weren't likely to confuse the Galaxy Tab and iPad, according to Bloomberg. As a result, Samsung was found to not be infringing on Apple's patents.

"(Samsung's tablets) do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design," Birss said in his ruling. "They are not as cool."

The judge found that Samsung's products were distinctive from Apple, as they are thinner and have "unusual details" on the back. The ruling is different from a decision in the U.S. last month, where Apple won a temporary injunction barring sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh found that Samsung did in fact infringe on Apple's design patents. She ruled that Samsung "does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products."

Galaxy Tab 10.1


While Apple didn't find the same success in the U.K., the iPad maker does have 21 days to appeal the decision issued on Monday by Judge Birss.

Previously, Apple has successfully argued for temporary injunctions in Australia and Germany. Samsung dodged the German injunction by releasing a slightly-redesigned Galaxy Tab 10.1N. Meanwhile, the Australian ban was overturned last November.
post #2 of 126
I agree with the Judge's part about it not being cool enough but just cause they do a shitty job of implementing the copy does not mean they did not steal the design. IMHO it is still enough to confuse the consumer -- hell their lawyers couldn't even identify which was Samsungs. If someone who is on the same team can't tell the difference is a consumer gonna take the time to look at the diffs -- I doubt it (not giving too much credit to lawyers in general here just that they are supposedly familiar with their product).
post #3 of 126

Half these 'judges' sound like they have been on the wacky backy. Since when was 'cool' a parameter with which to ascertain IP infringement ! 

post #4 of 126

So this is how the judge decides cases?  Not on merit of infractions of IP and Patent violations but by it not being cool?  Crazy.  Well this judge is cool...  that is, not so hot!

/

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post #5 of 126

I'm not......cool? :(

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post #6 of 126

So to appeal does Apple have to admit to not being cool either, or will Samsung have to be cool??

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post #7 of 126

Is that ICS on the 10.1? When did that happen?

post #8 of 126

Cue the usual suspects saying that the court decision means nothing because it is not the Supreme Court, and the decision might get overturned on appeal.

 

BTW - does Samsung even sell the Tab 10.1 in the UK anymore?

post #9 of 126

Design patents are judged solely on how others (the court) perceive the look and the potential for a violation.  As it's proving out, one judge can see it one way and another a different way.

post #10 of 126

By the way, excerpt of full ruling

 

In a ruling on July 9, 2012, the High Court of England & Wales sided with Samsung that the designs of the Galaxy Tab series of products are 'different' from an Apple tablet design, and do not infringe Apple’s Registered Community Design No. 181607-0001. Samsung products subject to this trial were the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Galaxy Tab 8.9, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7."Samsung had requested this voluntary trial in September 2011, in order to oppose Apple’s ongoing efforts to reduce consumer choice and innovation in the tablet market through their excessive legal claims and arguments. Apple has insisted that the three Samsung tablet products infringe several features of Apple’s design right, such as 'slightly rounded corners,' 'a flat transparent surface without any ornamentation,' and 'a thin profile.'"However, the High Court dismissed Apple’s arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, or designs that were previously created or patented, from before 2004. These include the Knight Ridder (1994), the Ozolin (2004), and HP’s TC1000 (2003). The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, and numerous identical design features to have been visible in a wide range of earlier tablet designs from before 2004."Equally important, the court also found distinct differences between the Samsung and Apple tablet designs, which the court claimed were apparent to the naked eye. For instance, the court cited noticeable differences in the front surface design and in the thinness of the side profile. The court found the most vivid differences in the rear surface design, a part of tablets that allows designers a high degree of freedom for creativity, as there are no display panels, buttons, or any technical functions. Samsung was recognised by the court for having leveraged such conditions of the rear surface to clearly differentiate its tablet products through 'visible detailing.'

 

Hmmm, seems that Apple kinda got their arses kicked by a Judge who, like everyone not working for Apple's lawfirm, can actually tell the difference between an ipad and a Galaxy tab AND realises that rectangles are a RIDICULOUS idea to try and sue someone for having. 

post #11 of 126

So the level of "coolness" is now an acceptable means by which to differentiate one product from another but the "look and feel" is not? (referring to how Apple lost its battle against MS over Windows vs. Mac).

post #12 of 126
I don't think anyone has ever bought a Galaxy Tab thinking they bought an iPad..

If you can read, and see the name Samsung printed on the front and back of the tablet, how in the hell would anyone confuse it for an iPad? If someone really wants to buy an iPad, that someone will buy an iPad. It's as simple as that.

Apple needs to move on and stop wasting millions on legal fees and just go back to innovating and kicking the competition out of the open market by keep coming out with great products.

The whole thermonuclear war thing is Steve Jobs' "personal" war with Google, not Apple's. Steve is gone and it's time for Apple to move on get back to what matters the most.. Coming up with great products.
post #13 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

I agree with the Judge's part about it not being cool enough but just cause they do a shitty job of implementing the copy does not mean they did not steal the design. IMHO it is still enough to confuse the consumer -- hell their lawyers couldn't even identify which was Samsungs. If someone who is on the same team can't tell the difference is a consumer gonna take the time to look at the diffs -- I doubt it (not giving too much credit to lawyers in general here just that they are supposedly familiar with their product).

 

Agreed. 

 

Still, quite a compliment for Apple, though. 

 

But IP integrity can't depend on compliments.  ;)

post #14 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

I don't think anyone has ever bought a Galaxy Tab thinking they bought an iPad..
If you can read, and see the name Samsung printed on the front and back of the tablet, how in the hell would anyone confuse it for an iPad?
 

To even reach that far they would also have to not read the huge SAMSUNG on the box and the GALAXY TAB on the box and the whole picture of tablet with SAMSUNG on it on the box and realize that nowhere on the box did it say iPAD. 

 

In other words, Apple is arguing that blind illiterate people have been fooled into buying Galaxy Tabs. 

post #15 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Design patents are judged solely on how others (the court) perceive the look and the potential for a violation.  As it's proving out, one judge can see it one way and another a different way.

 

Basically yes. 

 

So Apple could appeal and the next judge perceives things a different way. Certainly an appeal on the grounds that no one is going to be showing off the back of a unit when it has no actual use to the customer so what's on the back should be moot could happen. 

 

Or Apple could just let it slide and focus on internal tech issues of which there are apparently several. 

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post #16 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

To even reach that far they would also have to not read the huge SAMSUNG on the box and the GALAXY TAB on the box and the whole picture of tablet with SAMSUNG on it on the box and realize that nowhere on the box did it say iPAD. 

In other words, Apple is arguing that blind illiterate people have been fooled into buying Galaxy Tabs. 

Let's be realistic though.. How many do you think bought a Galaxy Tab and seriously thought they bought an Apple iPad?
post #17 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

In other words, Apple is arguing that blind illiterate people have been fooled into buying Galaxy Tabs. 

 

More like the commonality of design can cause some folks to believe that the Galaxy Tab is a clone (and a 'legal' one at that) of the iPad making it in essence the same device. Remember that the major of the marketplace is used to PC clones so the notion of an 'iPad' made by Apple and an 'iPad' made by Samsung etc is not far fetched to them. 

 

That's what Apple is really trying to avoid. This is one step of that. Another is common UI and functionality in terms of using patented touch gestures. Another is making sure that no one tries to turn iPad and even iPhone into generic terms for tablets and smartphones. And so on. 

 

Other companies have and are doing the same but they aren't the page fodder that Apple is so we don't hear about them ad nauseum infinitum

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post #18 of 126
...case dismissed, you are not cool enough to murder someone!...
/facetious

now i understand what "the peoples" court is about. or a jury trial...

i get it now! in east texas, for patent ip cases , the jury just detemines if the plaintiff is not cool enough to have infringed. NOW that makes sense of the ip patent courts (in texas)...
dont bother with the facts... just if the item is not cool.
post #19 of 126

Really, its kinda hard to tell who won this one...

post #20 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

I don't think anyone has ever bought a Galaxy Tab thinking they bought an iPad..
If you can read, and see the name Samsung printed on the front and back of the tablet, how in the hell would anyone confuse it for an iPad? If someone really wants to buy an iPad, that someone will buy an iPad. It's as simple as that.
Apple needs to move on and stop wasting millions on legal fees and just go back to innovating and kicking the competition out of the open market by keep coming out with great products.
The whole thermonuclear war thing is Steve Jobs' "personal" war with Google, not Apple's. Steve is gone and it's time for Apple to move on get back to what matters the most.. Coming up with great products.

 

What?

 

Do have any idea how much R&D cost?

 

Boggles the mind ignorant reactions regarding this brouhaha.

 

If Samsung just Stop imitating Apple and deploys real innovative work, all humanity will benefit!

Can you imagine if Microsoft did not copy Apple back then and developed a new UI how much interaction with computers would have been advanced today?

post #21 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

To even reach that far they would also have to not read the huge SAMSUNG on the box and the GALAXY TAB on the box and the whole picture of tablet with SAMSUNG on it on the box and realize that nowhere on the box did it say iPAD. 

 

In other words, Apple is arguing that blind illiterate people have been fooled into buying Galaxy Tabs. 

 

In your reasoning you assume that all people know who Samsung and Apple are. Who made the iPad, when and how it looks? Remember that not all people are as engaged in technology as us in here and on other tech sites. How would they know how an iPad should look? Many people don't necessary associate "iPad" with Apple. They just heard about this new, supposedly (from what they hear) very cool iPad, and they think that an iPad = tablet. From the hype they could easily buy another tablet based on their lacking knowledge in this area.

 

This is true for many markets and that is why there are so many copies in the world; not only in the tech industry but in all industries. Samsung knows that and you should know that, too. I hope you consider yourself smarter than the average person when it comes to technology. If not, all your hours on boards like these are wasted

post #22 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


Let's be realistic though.. How many do you think bought a Galaxy Tab and seriously thought they bought an Apple iPad?

 

Plenty of consumers do think a tablet is a tablet is a tablet (and is therefore an iPad).  My mother in law assumed that the apps I've shown her on my iPad would work on her Kindle fire.  The confusion isn't helped by the hundreds of high-profile apps that do have iOS and Android versions of course.

 

So, while consumers don't think there is an Apple-branded iPad in a Samsung Galaxy box, plenty do think that they are "buying an iPad" when they buy an Android tablet,

post #23 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post


Let's be realistic though.. How many do you think bought a Galaxy Tab and seriously thought they bought an Apple iPad?

 

Well, according to Apple, Apple employees and MOFO lawyers are still quite confused.  So how much does Apple owe Samsung in legal fees?

post #24 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Apple needs to move on and stop wasting millions on legal fees and just go back to innovating and kicking the competition out of the open market by keep coming out with great products.

Yep Samsung needs new stuff to copy.
post #25 of 126

If you've ever been a manufacturer of something where you outsourced production to a "competitor" or a company that sells to a competitor, you understand why Apple takes issue with Samsung and Google (in particular).  Even if Samsung didn't purposely copy Apple's designs (iPhone, iPad), the perception (on Apple's part) would be there that they did given the relationship.  

 

I've been down this road in the past, as I was using the same manufacturer that one of my customer/competitors was using.  When we started selling a product that looked, for all intents and purposes, the same as my customer's product, it ended the relationship.  The company I worked for actually had the opportunity to redesign the packaging to change the outward appearance of the product, but declined to do so because of the added cost necessary to make the change.  I assume the same thing is and has happened with Samsung, Google, HTC, etc.

 

I do wish that all the other manufacturers would push forward with some real innovation - and not just for innovation's sake, but to make better products.  It's the lack of this that is causing these suits to keep popping up.  Think back to the days of the basic cell phone.  They all did the same things, but design-wise there was a lot of differentiation between brands.  Companies were willing to try just about anything, making some bigger, smaller, thinner, wider, flip, brick, slider, etc.

post #26 of 126

Pure crap. The Ozlolin? Never heard of it and neither has the internet, apparently. The Knight Ridder? It was never built or sold so customers can't really confuse it with an iPad since it's not a real product. And the TC1000? Well it was silver, had a keyboard and looked nothing like the iPad or the Galaxy. Apple's claim here is that the Samsung Galaxy Tab was designed to look like an existing product in the same category in which it competes. They're not suing Sony, whose tablet looks very different from Apple's. They're not suing Amazon, whose Kindle Fire features a different for factor altogether. They're suing Samsung who shamelessly steals designs and doesn't even think twice about it. Hell, wasn't there a post a while back about how Samsung was using iOS icons in their Tab series advertising? I mean, who's kidding who here? Well the Brits historically have hated Apple and I'm sure that judge probably grew up in that culture of bias, maybe he had an Acorn growing up? Who knows?

post #27 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damn_Its_Hot View Post

I agree with the Judge's part about it not being cool enough but just cause they do a shitty job of implementing the copy does not mean they did not steal the design. IMHO it is still enough to confuse the consumer -- hell their lawyers couldn't even identify which was Samsungs. If someone who is on the same team can't tell the difference is a consumer gonna take the time to look at the diffs -- I doubt it (not giving too much credit to lawyers in general here just that they are supposedly familiar with their product).


I agree with you. The buying public at that end of the market wouldn't know an iPad from a door knob. Plus, listening in on sales staff at Best Buy they go out of their way to point out that Android tablets are exactly the same as iPads only better half the time! Comments like 'This is an iPad really just less expensive ..."
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post #28 of 126

So now the judges are asking their 15 year old children to help them with the verdict?

post #29 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

Let's be realistic though.. How many do you think bought a Galaxy Tab and seriously thought they bought an Apple iPad?

Just stand in the tablet area in Best Buy for an hour or so to answer your own question. You hear older folks especially saying "I want to see an iPad' and iPad simply means a tablet to many and they are easily switch sold by what ever product the sales guy wants to sell them that day. Their personal preferences really show especially the Apple haters.
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post #30 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaxyTab View Post

I'm not......cool? :(

Uh... no not really.  Sorry, we meant to tell you, but it was just so...awkward.

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post #31 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

What?

Do have any idea how much R&D cost?

Boggles the mind ignorant reactions regarding this brouhaha.

If Samsung just Stop imitating Apple and deploys real innovative work, all humanity will benefit!
Can you imagine if Microsoft did not copy Apple back then and developed a new UI how much interaction with computers would have been advanced today?

Yes coz generic design like rectangle, curve corners, black bezel, etc cost millions and millions of R&D money.
post #32 of 126

I said this would happen and got slated for it. No reasonable person would mistake the Galaxy Tab for an iPad.

 

Apples' claims were simply too generic like "slightly rounded corners" - since when is that an original design feature.

 

The AI report does not paint an accurate representation of the courts ruling. 9 to 5 Mac has a more detailed description of the Judges' reasons.

post #33 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

I said this would happen and got slated for it. No reasonable person would mistake the Galaxy Tab for an iPad.

 

Then Samsung's lawyers must be VERY unreasonable people. 

 

http://gizmodo.com/5849803/even-samsung-cant-tell-the-difference-between-its-tablet-and-ipad

post #34 of 126

Judge: I'm sorry, Apple, Samsung's tablets do not infringe on your design patents. They are simply not cool enough to be mistaken as iPads.

 

Samsung: Thank you judge, we appreci ... hey! Wait a minute ...

post #35 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollerborges View Post

Judge: I'm sorry, Apple, Samsung's tablets do not infringe on your design patents. They are simply not cool enough to be mistaken as iPads.

 

Samsung: Thank you judge, we appreci ... hey! Wait a minute ...

Priceless!!

 

:D

post #36 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post

I said this would happen and got slated for it. No reasonable person, except of course Samsung's own lawyers, would mistake the Galaxy Tab for an iPad.

 

Apples' claims were simply too generic like "slightly rounded corners" - since when is that an original design feature.

 

The AI report does not paint an accurate representation of the courts ruling. 9 to 5 Mac has a more detailed description of the Judges' reasons.

Fixed, no charge.

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post #37 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

If you've ever been a manufacturer of something where you outsourced production to a "competitor" or a company that sells to a competitor, you understand why Apple takes issue with Samsung and Google (in particular).  Even if Samsung didn't purposely copy Apple's designs (iPhone, iPad), the perception (on Apple's part) would be there that they did given the relationship.  

 

I've been down this road in the past, as I was using the same manufacturer that one of my customer/competitors was using.  When we started selling a product that looked, for all intents and purposes, the same as my customer's product, it ended the relationship.  The company I worked for actually had the opportunity to redesign the packaging to change the outward appearance of the product, but declined to do so because of the added cost necessary to make the change.  I assume the same thing is and has happened with Samsung, Google, HTC, etc.

 

I do wish that all the other manufacturers would push forward with some real innovation - and not just for innovation's sake, but to make better products.  It's the lack of this that is causing these suits to keep popping up.  Think back to the days of the basic cell phone.  They all did the same things, but design-wise there was a lot of differentiation between brands.  Companies were willing to try just about anything, making some bigger, smaller, thinner, wider, flip, brick, slider, etc.

 

Precisely!

post #38 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy3 View Post

The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, 

 

But it's still the COOLEST.

 

Given that, apparently, no one else's tablet is "cool", Apple's design must be original enough to distinguish it from the rest of the pack. 

 

Therefore, if Apple's design is cool, it must also be original as well. 

 

;)

 

I think this qualifies me for those neato judge's robes in the UK.

 

In any case, I think Judge Koh's ruling is way cooler:

 

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh found that Samsung did in fact infringe on Apple's design patents. She ruled that Samsung "does not have a right to compete unfairly by flooding the market with infringing products."

post #39 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

Then Samsung's lawyers must be VERY unreasonable people. 

 

http://gizmodo.com/5849803/even-samsung-cant-tell-the-difference-between-its-tablet-and-ipad

It's not even so much the similarities between the Tab and the Ipad. The UK court did not feel the Apple design was original anyway, with dozens of examples of prior art presented and accepted by the court.

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post #40 of 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

 

Then Samsung's lawyers must be VERY unreasonable people. 

 

http://gizmodo.com/5849803/even-samsung-cant-tell-the-difference-between-its-tablet-and-ipad

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by diplication View Post

Fixed, no charge.

 

The Samsung lawyers must be very stupid people then.

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