Samsung tablet not as cool as iPad, judge rules
Samsung’s Galaxy tablet computer is not “cool” enough to be confused with Apple’s iPad, a judge has ruled.
The American electronics giant had argued the Samsung Galaxy Tab was too similar to their own product, but the claim was dismissed yesterday at London’s High Court.
Judge Colin Birss QC said: “They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool.”
He said consumers were not likely to get the two tablet computers mixed up and ruled the Samsung tablets do not infringe Apple’s registered design.
“The informed user’s overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following: 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,” he said.
The judge added: “There are some minor differences but to my eye there are two major differences.
“The most important difference between the Samsung Galaxy tablets and the Apple design is the thinness of the Galaxy tablets. The next most significant difference is the detailing on the back of each of the tablets.
“To an informed user, the Galaxy tabs do not merely look like a thin version of the Apple design, they look like a different, thinner design of product.”
He said he had questioned if those two differences were enough to overcome the similarity of the front of the devices and the overall shape of them.
The judge said he did regard the overall shape as very significant but said there there was a very obvious visual similarity at the front.
“In my judgment, the key to this case is the strength or significance of that similarity.
“As I have said, the significance of the near-identity of the front surfaces of these products is reduced to a degree by the existence of similar fronts in the design corpus. The question is - to what degree?
“This case illustrates the importance of properly taking into account the informed user’s knowledge and experience of the design corpus.
“When I first saw the Samsung products in this case I was struck by how similar they look to the Apple design when they are resting on a table.
“They look similar because they both have the same front screen. It stands out.”
Apple has been given 21 days to appeal against the decision.
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