Whilst the legal wrangles between Apple and Samsung drag on through various international courts, Samsung let out a big sigh of relief this week when the High Court of England and Wales ruled in its favour, finding 50 distinguishable differences between the Galaxy tab and Apple tablet designs.
The finding comes after a difficult period for Samsung which saw them faced with several legal defeats resulting in product bans. It will be seen as welcome news that they finally got a court on their side.
This latest result will be seen as a positive sign following a rough few weeks in which a U.S. judge ordered a ban on the Galaxy Nexus, which subsequently resulted in Google pulling it from the Google Play store for a short time, before re-instating it on Saturday. Samsung is currently eagerly awaiting the outcome of an appeal which saw the ban temporarily lifted pending an outcome of the appeal.
The latest outcome is part of a broader ongoing legal skirmish between the two largest smartphone makers in the world and of Apple’s campaign against Android or any other company supporting the Android operating system. The dispute has resulted in both Apple and Samsung filing lawsuits in different international courts, attempting to obtain exclusivity in the market by obtaining a ban or legal decision that would be devastating to the other company. Thus far, neither has achieved this aim, gaining only minor victories in different international courts.
The premise of the argument so far is that Apple believes that their own product features have been copied to such a degree by various Samsung products as to pose a breach of Apple’s intellectual copyrights, with their legal submissions detailing the number of similarities between the products. In each case, Samsung defend their own products by citing the differences, successfully as it turned out in the last ruling in England and Wales.
Apple have so far declined to comment on the latest court defeat, but as expected they are maintaining their position and reiterating the similarities between their Apple products and the Samsung range.
An Apple representative stated: ‘This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas’
Today’s ruling will affect three versions of the Samsung tablet: the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the Galaxy Tab 7.7.
In coming to its decision, the court cited the following differences were determined to be significant enough to demonstrate sufficient grounds to rule in Samsung’s favour: the thickness of the devise, the front and rear surface designs and the lack of physical buttons.
For their part, Samsung have stated they requested this voluntary trial to get ahead of Apple’s claim that Samsung tablets copy the iPad and its design.
It is of course no surprise that Samsung said it welcomed today’s ruling. So, for now, Samsung Galaxy tab can rest assured that Apple would not be coming after it in the UK – not at least for some time.