(I imagine academics teaching IP law will try to sneak this one into lectures one of these days.)
A judge in the United Kingdom dealt an unusual punishment to Apple for losing a court case against Samsung last week. Apple sued Samsung in the U.K., claiming that the South Korean manufacturer's Galaxy Tab tablets copied the iPad. This, the judge said, was not true. Yesterday, the judge ruled that Apple must issue notifications on its U.K. website as well as in newspapers and magazines saying that Samsung did not copy the iPad. While the punishment may seem extreme, it may be just what the mobile device industry needs.
Apple has been fighting patent and design lawsuits against Samsung in courts across the world. The U.K. case hinged on design similarities between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab series, specifically the Galaxy Tab 10.1's back and rounded corners.
Last week, Judge Colin Birss said that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s design because the Galaxy Tabs “are not as cool.” They “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said, according to Bloomberg.
The judge's ruling yesterday is a bit of a Pyrrhic victory for Samsung. In terms of tangible benefits, the South Korean company definitely wins. Its products will remain on the market in the U.K. and Apple must do penance for the “prejudice” its lawsuit thrust upon Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs. On the other hand, Birss basically called Samsung’s tablets dweebs compared to the uber-hip iPad.
More on this at ReadWriteWeb: report by Dan Rowinski.