Two technology giants, Apple and Samsung, have been competing in the court of law in several countries over patent rights for claiming dominance in the market. Apple is ever ready to sue other companies, but in some cases, things have turned out to back fire for the Cupertino based technology major.
Yesterday, Apple lost a court case in German court where Apple had claimed that Google’s Motorola Xoom was infringing three separate iPad patents and sought to have the devices off the shelves across Europe. The German court ruled in favor of Motorola Mobility saying the Xoom tablet did not infringe any of the Apple’s iPad design patents. Apple left the court bearing two thirds of cost of the legal battle while the other one third was paid by Motorola.
In another incident, Apple was ordered by a judge of London court to publish a notice on Apple’s U.K. website and on major British newspapers notifying people that the South Korean electronics major, Samsung Electronics Co., didn’t copy iPad’s design. Apple obviously isn’t happy with this court ruling as according to the order, Apple has to publish “an advertisement” for Samsung, and no company in its senses would like to do that.
The judge, Colin Birss, had ruled on July 9th that Samsung’s tablets were unlikely to be confused with Apple’s iPad because Samsung’s offering wasn’t as cool as Apple’s product. He also declined to grant Samsung’s bid to ban Apple from making public statements regarding Galaxy product line infringing its design rights.
Apple’s lawyer, Richard Hacon, said that they would apple for the July 9th’s decision and the judge is said to have granted permission to take this case to the court of appeal. Apple didn’t comment on the ruling.
In the meantime, Samsung’s shares rose by 3.5 percent to 1,195,000 won in the South Korean trading today, whereas Apple shares ended up trading down by 0.1 percent in NYSE yesterday.
“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.
We can see the war between Apple and other companies escalating. In my opinion, Apple should consider holding down a bit before suing some other company over design patents, because it is a generic design. You can’t really sue a company for having round wheels on their cars, can you? Most of the cases are back firing for Apple, and they’re finding themselves from a victory in court to on their back foot.
From a draft copy of ruling obtained from Samsung’s lawyers, Apple is supposed to post a notice on Apple’s UK website, and also has to pay for similar notices on traditional media including Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3. This move should effectively clear Samsung’s tarnished image regarding it copying Apple’s design.
The case is Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited & Anr v. Apple Inc., High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, HC11C03050.
Apple is also engaged in similar battles with companies like HTC, Google and Motorola in countries including Netherlands, Germany and United States.