Samsung's tablet lines were not as cool as the iPad, made by Apple, a UK appellate court said on Thursday, in the process affirming that the South Korean consumer electronic giant did not violate its U.S. rival's intellectual property.
In a new ruling issued by the UK Court of Appeals, Apple's claims that Samsung closely copied the designs of its dominant tablet computer, the iPad, was rejected, with the court upholding an earlier position by the country's High Court, which deemed the Galaxy tablets somewhat different.
That High Court decision even observed that the two product lines were incomparable, in the sense that Apple had put together a hipper tablet in iPad. When pitted against the Galaxy tablets, Apple's creation is far more superior, design-wise, the High Court justice had observed.
While it can be said that Samsung's slates were uncool, the same decision also determined that Apple erred in insisisting that the look and feel of Galaxy tablets were directly derived from iPad.
Yesterday's court verdict had affirmed that stance, with the appellate court ordering too that Apple needs to issue a formal apology to ease the damages caused by its assertion to Samsung.
The public amends should come both in print and online ads, the court decision said.
The development will not prevent Apple from elevating the case to the UK Supreme Court but the court has stated that the legal spar between the U.S. tech giant and its Asian rival is settled at the moment.
That clears the way for Samsung to rollout its tablet computers to most of the European markets, which are covered by the UK court ruling.
What the court intervention had accomplished for the moment is put to rest the design debate between Apple and Samsung, lawyer Darren Smyth told Reuters on Friday, adding that "there has been no indication so far that Apple plan such an appeal."
"For the design of tablets in Europe this should be the final word," he added.
An appeal from Apple seems remote at the moment as the product in subject was not even in contention as far as the market stature of iPad is concerned, with Samsung even admitting earlier this year that it failed to disturb the leadership of Apple in the tablet market in spite of the different models it released, analysts said.
Nonetheless, Samsung welcomed the favourable ruling, also pointing out in a statement that "the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art," BBC reported on Friday.
"We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners," the tech firm insisted.
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