Apple ordered to publish ruling that Samsung did not copy iPad

The Samsung Galaxy 10.1, the new tablet and The Samsung Galaxy 10.1, the new tablet and potential iPad competitor from South Korea-based Samsung Electronics. Photo Credit: Handout

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) was ordered by a judge to publish a notice on its U.K. website and in British newspapers alerting people to a ruling that Samsung Electronics Co. didnt copy designs for the iPad.

The notice should outline the July 9 London court decision that Samsungs Galaxy tablets dont infringe Apples registered designs, Judge Colin Birss said yesterday. It should be posted on Apples U.K. home page for six months and published in newspapers and magazines to correct any impression the South Korea-based company was copying Apples product, Birss said.

The order means Apple will have to publish an advertisement for Samsung, Richard Hacon, a lawyer for Cupertino, California-based Apple, told the court. No company likes to refer to a rival on its website.

Apple is fighting patent lawsuits around the globe against competitors including Google Inc., HTC Corp. (2498) and Samsung as it competes for dominance of the smartphone and tablet computer markets. The firms have accused each other of copying designs and technology in their mobile devices. Legal battles about the similarity of Samsung and Apple tablets are being fought in Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S.

Birss said in his July 9 ruling that Samsungs tablets were unlikely to be confused with the iPad because they are not as cool. He declined yesterday to grant Samsungs bid for an injunction blocking Apple from making public statements that the Galaxy infringed its design rights.

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Their Opinion
They are entitled to their opinion, he said.

Apples lawyer said the company would appeal the July 9 decision and Judge Birss granted the company permission to take its case to the court of appeal. Apple spokesman Alan Hely didnt respond to a phone call and e-mail requesting comment on the judges order.

Samsung rose 3.5 percent in South Korean trading today to 1,195,000 won. Apple shares ended New York trading yesterday down 0.1 percent.

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.

The war between these two companies seems to be escalating even further, said Colin Fowler, an intellectual property lawyer at London-based Rouse. He said much of the publicity around the July 9 ruling focused on Birss comments about Samsung not being as cool.

Back Foot
From a victory in court they were suddenly on the back foot, Fowler said in a phone interview. Getting this order fits in with the context of them trying to restore the balance.

Comments made by Apple after that ruling unfairly implied Samsung had copied designs, Samsungs lawyer Kathryn Pickard said at the hearing. That caused real commercial harm.

As well as Apples website, the company must pay for notices in the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3, according to a draft copy of the order provided bySamsungs lawyers.

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The case is Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited & Anr v. Apple Inc., High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, HC11C03050.

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