Apple may have won its case against Samsung in the US this past August, but in the UK, things haven't proven to be so successful. In the US case, which took much of Samsung's portfolio into question, it was deemed that the company did in fact mimic many of product design choices Apple itself had made well before Samsung. In the UK, it's only Samsung's Galaxy Tab that was brought into question, squaring off of course, against the iPad.
In July, the judge in charge of the UK case claimed that Samsung's product wasn't "as cool" as Apple's, nor did it feature the same sort of "extreme simplicity". Apple countered that the physical design is only where things begin, while it's the user interface where most people would draw similarities - or confusions. Normally, if a judge were to tell you that your product is much cooler than the competitor's, that might be a reason to crack a smile. But when it's followed with a demand to publicly apologize to said competitor, that changes things.
That brings us to today. Apple has lost its appeal - one overseen by three judges - and must proceed with its public apology. Part of this involves Apple putting a link on its UK homepage that links people to the judgment, while at the same time, the company must take out ads in major UK newspapers. We're unsure at this time if these ads need to adhere to certain size restrictions, but we'd imagine they would.
In explaining the ruling to Apple, one judge, who happens to own an iPad himself, states, "Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about." In gist, most court cases go over the heads of the general public, but with Apple being involved in so many people's lives, it's in a unique position where the layman may pay attention. If someone only hears of the case Apple has against Samsung but never actually hears the conclusion, it can hold obvious repercussions against Samsung.
At this point, it's easy to assume that Apple will have an easier time winning its cases in the US than in the UK, based on these most recent ones. Will the ruling in the UK prevent the company from testing its luck in the future? It's hard to say. But one thing's for certain: having to publicly apologize to a direct competitor has got to be one of the worst nightmares for any company.
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