Apple ordered to carry ads absolving Samsung of infringement

A UK judge has put Apple's "ridiculous" patent war with its arch rival Samsung in the right perspective by ordering the maker of iPhone and iPad to take out advertisements in major UK newspapers and magazines and put up a statement on the Apple UK website declaring that the South Korean electronics giant did not infringe upon the iPad's design.

The humiliating order passed yesterday by Judge Colin Birss is to negate the adverse impression that consumers may have that Samsung has copied Apple's iPad designs on its Galaxy tablets.

Apple had gone to court alleging that Samsung's line of Galaxy tablets looked similar to its iPad, including the packaging.

Commentators have said the allegations by Apple appeared to be ridiculous since not only there had been similar looking tablets produced prior to the launch of the iPad, but a similar type of tablet was even shown in the science movie fiction Star Wars way back in 1977 – the same year Apple was founded.

Judge Birss had ruled on 9 July that Samsung Galaxy tablets do not infringe Apple's registered design. ''I do not regard the overall shape as very significant but there is a very obvious visual similarity at the front. In my judgment the key to this case is the strength or significance of that similarity. As I have said the significance of the near identity of the front surfaces of these products is reduced to a degree by the existence of similar fronts in the design corpus.''

"They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different," he had added.