A judge in the U.K. has handed Samsung with its Galaxy Tab tablets a double-edged win against Apple.
While ruling that the design of Galaxy Tab devices does not infringe on Apple’s design patent, Judge Colin Birss said the Samsung tablets “are not as cool” as the iPad.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the Judge said that the Samsung Galaxy Tab computers “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design.”
“They are not as cool,” the High Court of England & Wales judge said.
Nonetheless, Samsung is happy with the ruling as expected.
“Samsung believes Apple’s excessive legal claims based on such a generic design right can harm not only the industry’s innovation as a whole, but also unduly limit consumer choice,” Samsung remarked about the ruling in a statement.
The South Korean consumer electronics juggernaut is currently fighting a legal war with Apple over patents involving dozens of cases spanning court rooms in more than 10 countries around the globe.
The judge, apart from saying that the Galaxy Tab tablets are not as cool as the iPad, also cited about 50 samples of prior art or designs of similar devices that have been created or registered before 2004.
“These include the Knight Ridder (1994), the Ozolin (2004), and HP’s TC1000 (2003). The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, and numerous identical design features to have been visible in a wide range of earlier tablet designs from before 2004,” Samsung said in a statement to Pocket-Lint.
Furthermore, the judge ruled that the Galaxy Tab range had noticeable differences in the front of the device and thinness compared to the iPad when viewed from the side. Moreover, in essence, the back of the Galaxy Tab range cannot be mistaken for an iPad, the judge said.
“The court found the most vivid differences in the rear surface design, a part of tablets that allows designers a high degree of freedom for creativity, as there are no display panels, buttons, or any technical functions. Samsung was recognized by the court for having leveraged such conditions of the rear surface to clearly differentiate its tablet products through ‘visible detailing’,” Samsung told Pocket-Lint.
Apple has 21 days to appeal the decision by the judge regarding the Galaxy Tab range’s design.