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Friday
Oct262012

Apple v. Samsung: The UK

As we previously posted, Judge Birss ordered Apple to publish a notice on its website for six months, as well as in several newspapers and magazines, that the Samsung Galaxy tablets do not infringe Apple's designs, to "correct the damaging impression" that Samsung copied Apple's product.

On October 18, 2012, the Court of Appeal affirmed Judge Birss. Of note, the judgment stated:

Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about. It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law. Whether or not Apple could have sued in England and Wales for copying is utterly irrelevant to this case. If they could, they did not. Likewise there is no issue about infringement of any patent for an invention.

So this case is all about, and only about, Apple's registered design and the Samsung products.The registered design is not the same as the design of the iPad. It is quite a lot different.For instance the iPad is a lot thinner, and has noticeably different curves on its sides. There may be other differences - even though I own one, I have not made a detailed comparison. Whether the iPad would fall within the scope of protection of the registered design is completely irrelevant. We are not deciding that one way or the other. This case must be decided as if the iPad never existed.

As noted above, Apple was ordered to publish a notice on its website, which the Court of Appeal affirmed. The notice was recently published on Apple's UK website.

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