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Apple's UK site says Samsung devices 'not as cool' in compliance with court ruling

As ordered by a U.K. judge, Apple has updated its regional website to state that Samsung did not infringe on its patented iPad design, and also included the judge's determination that Samsung devices are "not as cool."

A link to the text-only addition to Apple's website can be found in the footer of its U.K. page. The link is entitled "Samsung/Apple UK judgement."

The text is presented on a blank page with no links, logos or other information. It lets visitors know that the High Court of Justice in England and Wales ruled on July 9, 2012, that Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe on Apple's design patent No. 0000181607-0001.

It goes on to state that the judge made "several important points" when comparing Apple's own design to that of Samsung's products. In particular, the judge said that the iPad "is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design."

In contrast, the judge found that Samsung's products are "almost insubstantial members" of the company's product lineup with "unusual details on the back."

"They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicty which is possessed by the Apple design," the judge wrote. "They are not as cool."

The statements came from a ruling by Judge Colin Birss in July, when he found that Samsung's products were distinctive from Apple. Apple attempted to appeal the decision, but lost last week.

Birss ordered Apple to run advertisements on its UK website as well as in British magazines and newspapers, declaring Samsung did not copy the iPad. The Web notice is to remain active at least six months, while other ads would be taken out in various print publications as a consolation for the "damaging impression" Samsung suffered a result of the suit.

Apple argued unsuccessfully in court that mentioning Samsung on its site would be in effect a free advertisement for its rival.

The full text from Apple's statement is included below:

Samsung / Apple UK judgment

On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link

In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:

"The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design."

"The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad.