back to article UK judge hands Samsung win for being 'not as cool' as iPad

A UK judge has handed Samsung a victory in its court battle with Apple over design similarities between its Galaxy Tab line and the Cupertinian iPad – but for a reason sure to rankle the Korean manufacturer's design department. Speaking of Samsung's fondleslabs, UK High Court Judge Colin Birss ruled, "They do not have the same …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now NOT being cool IS the NEW cool!

    1. LarsG


      So the Samsung being from the same 'family' is really the 'bastard' child of the iPad.

      That is a put down if ever there was one, I thought we had moved on from this.

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: So

        A put down for whose benefit?

        The judge is handing Samsung a victory and very likely taking the piss out of Apple at the same time.

        How are Apple supposed to appeal this? Are they really going to say 'Er - actually, you're wrong, and Samsung's tablet really *is* as cool as an iPad?"

        Does anyone see that happening?

        I wonder if it's really quite a clever way of dealing with the issue.

        1. Chris 171
          Thumb Up

          Re: So

          Clever indeed, I think....

          Right result regardless, innovation not litigation.

          1. Disintegrationnotallowed

            Re: So

            How is the Samsung design innovative?

            Tablet format - Check

            Touch Screen - Check

            Button to press - Check

            Stable OS - Check

            2 more buttons to press - we just innovated boys!!!

            Apple have not, despite Samsung's claims, stifled innovation, in fact I thought the point was that Samsung hadn't been particularly innovative, and that Samsung were stating that they didn't need to be because the design is ubiquitous?

            If Samsung had been innovative with their design, like making it oval shaped with five large buttons (as a ridiculous example), then apple would have had literally no case!

            Should apple be able to lay rights to the design? No, but let's not pretend this is about innovation. Innovation is not the upgrading of your tablet with an 8MP camera, or adding a HDMI. Samsung want to win this patent war so they can sell tablets that look like iPads, no more, no less.

            For the fabulous 2007 tablet designs, that were oh so good before apple see:


            1. Mark .

              Re: So

              So you're saying for Apple, innovation is using a rectangular screen? But not when other companies do that?

              1. Disintegrationnotallowed

                Re: So

                Typical fandroid didn't bother to read the comment, we have the fanbois and fandroids arguing over shit again. As I said I didn't think Apple should be able to lay claim to rights to a rectangular screen with a button. However the commentards here stated that the litigation and apple are holding back innovation that I don't get may be I am missing something.

                The innovation is in the software surely, the hardware is what Samsung have copied (and I dont blame them), and then added a little and charged less for, great, the reason why the hardware was blocked at all was apple could "show" that the hardware looked close enough to their design that you non savvy user wouldnt notice.....

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So

              Thanks for posting the link, I couldn't be bothered proving my obvious point, as it has been done so many times in these forums.

              The fact remains, I can get 20 down votes for stating a provable fact, simply because there are so many APPL haters here. Whether people like it or not, Samsung copied APPL's design, as have many (not all I might add) since. Why? Bacuse these companies are too talentless to have come up with something unique, distinctive and functional themselves (there are exceptions, but I dare not mention Sony for fear of garnering an extra 20 downvotes). This fact will not be altered by the 20 downvotes or the next 20 or the next twenty.


        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So

          >very likely taking the piss out

          Read it all - the Judge was totally taking the piss - though there's also a distinct hint of "stop wasting the Courts' time with this shite, I have actual work to do and this isn't America"

        3. Arctic fox
          Thumb Up

          @TheOtherHobbes RE: "I wonder if it's really quite a clever way of dealing with the issue."

          Having now read both your comment and what the Judge said in detail I have to say that I think that you are certainly correct in your interpretation. What on earth are Apple going to say now? "The device from Samsung is as good as our iPads and equally as stylish so please ban them"? I think that His Honour has been very clever indeed - tongue was undoubtedly firmly located in his own cheek and not up Apple's cheeks, in contrast to some other judges we have heard from during the last year or so.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Arctic Fox Re: @TheOtherHobbes RE: "I wonder if it's really quite a clever ...

            personally, i think what apple would say now, is something along the lines of "ok, great, they're not as cool as us. that has absolutely nothing to do with copyright infringement, since we dont copyright 'coolness' - just all the other features, that they've copied. can we get a real response now please?"

            seriously folks, much as its fun to hate on apple, a legal response that asserts that 'not being as cool as the original means you cant get done for copying it' is a bit of a rubbish one in a host of situations. (i assume its a copyright thing, i've not been paying too much attention really.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So

        It's a put down to Samsung, the judge implies the Samsung, even though from the same 'family' of tablets, it not as good as the mother and father of tablets.

        Negative advertising campaign for the iPad against the Samsung.

        It's like you and your mate going out with two sisters, only you got the ugly one and your mate is pointing it out to you and everyone else in the room.

        Should a fanboi judge be allowed to adjudicate?

        1. Darryl

          Re: So

          In the immortal words of Zaphod Beeblebrox the iPad is so cool you could keep a side of beef in it for a week, but the Galaxy Tab is so unhip it's a wonder it's bum doesn't fall off.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: So (Ugly Sister)

          No, it like you getting the one who isn't quite such a looker, but does everything else so much better than her sister, whose prime talent is hanging on your mate's arm, looking pretty.

          1. wowfood

            Re: So (Ugly Sister)

            I'd much rather have the less attractive sister who actually has feelings for me than the attractive one who always has her hand in my pocket (and not in the good way)

            1. stanimir
              Paris Hilton

              Re: So (Ugly Sister)

              Well, if you have deep enough pockets she can always undergo some extra tuning.

              Paris, coz she knows the drill.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So (Ugly Sister)

            "No, it like you getting the one who isn't quite such a looker, but does everything else so much better than her sister, whose prime talent is hanging on your mate's arm, looking pretty."

            And she's more likely to have a STD. I can see your point.

    2. Markl2011

      "Now NOT being cool IS the NEW cool!"

      So what's happened to the OLD cool? Are they now NOT cool? And if they're NOT cool does that make them the NEW NOT cool which means they're the NEW NEW cool?

      1. Katie Saucey

        ahhh man

        you gotta be so fracking uncool to even ask....

        1. Markl2011

          Re: ahhh man

          and uncool = NOT cool, so...


  2. Big_Ted

    "an Apple spokesman told Reuters. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property.""

    Just how much intellect does it take to make a rectangle with one button on it ?

    This judge has said what many of us have been saying for a long time, there is plenty of prior art on tablets and similar devices. How Apple can claim theres is any different I can;t understand. Now the OS etc then yes there is a case for copyright of how it looks and feels but again a patent should not be allowable for it.

    Apple are doing all they can to stifle all other companies from doing what they have and that's take something done before and doing it better.

    What we need is for someone like the EU to make a law that stops companies from going to court to stop sales of a product on such pathetic reasons as swipe to unlock etc and to punish those who bring a court case that has no real basis but to try to block to face legal penalties.

    As for the USA let them stew in their own mess and let us the rest of the world stop this so that innovation can again be the main reason to buy a product and not because someone is the last man standing having blocked what may be something better due to say a patent for something totally unrelated to phones or tablets that was granted 15 or so years ago when windows still ran on dos......

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      No law required

      The European Commission has already indicated that it views this kind of lawsuit and patent/trademark tourism as a possible barrier to trade in the single market. It's certainly possible that this might lead to only being allowed to make a single case in the whole of the EU with some safeguards to stop companies seeking out favourable courts as they apparently do in America.

      I can see some of the silliness being moved to the WTO as has happened in the airline industry.

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Simplest solution: allow summary judgment on patent issues. So Apple and Samsung go to court, Samsung argue at a preliminary hearing that 'actually, slide to unlock (or whatever) isn't patentworthy', and if the judge agrees then the patent is invalidated right there and then. If all relevant patents are invalidated then that obviously opens the door to summary judgment on the entire claim.

      Ideally there'd then be a separate appeals system for the patent. So if Apple wants to argue that the relevant patents are valid then they can go and do that at their own cost, entirely on their own. If a higher court holds them as valid then they can come back and reintroduce them to the main claim. The main claim can be stayed at the request of a patent holding party for the duration of the patent-related appeals process.

      Net effect: if you go to court on a flimsy patent, expect to have to spend your own money defending just the patent while whomever you sued carries on as usual.

      I guess patents would have to be extremely simple before most judges would venture that far but at least it would move the centre of the debate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        " Simplest solution: allow summary judgment on patent issues."

        Simpler solution: scrap mediaeval monopoly patents across the board.

      2. Nigel 11

        Patent lawsuit procedure

        Rather than summary judgement, I'd say that for every pound, dollar etc that the plaintiff spends on lawyers, he should be obliged to lend exactly the same amount to the defendant for payment of the defendant's legal costs. If he wins, repayment of the loan is added to other damages. If he loses, then he loses the right to repayment of the loan as well as any other costs awarded against him.

        The result would be that no company (typically a small company) would feel obliged to settle out of court for lack of sufficient finance to match the plaintiff's legal muscle. Patent trolls would probably disappear.

        It wouldn't have made any difference to this case and there's no reason why it should. Samsung and Apple both have deep enough pockets to afford armies of lawyers out of their petty cash.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      ""an Apple spokesman told Reuters. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property.""

      Just how much intellect does it take to make a rectangle with one button on it ?"

      Haaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Ohh fuck soooooooo funny!

  3. Chris Miller

    You know you've lost your mojo

    when your granddad says you're 'cool'.

  4. dotdavid

    "Apple, as might be guessed, disagrees with the ruling. "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad," an Apple spokesman told Reuters"

    Yes, because they're part of the same family of devices. Honestly, didn't the Apple spokesman pay attention in court?

  5. LinkOfHyrule


    Bitch, you got told!


    Tablets are so bloody minimal in essence anyway.

    A screen, a bezel/frame ... and a back side, corners, a button or two.

    These are basic elements of the constuction of the device - necessary for it to exist. It also applies to the monitor I have in front of me.

    If you reduce your design to the most minimalist version of a concept, then, philiosphically, you cannot patent it or claim ownership over your implementation of the device without also effectively claiming ownership of the ENTIRE CONCEPT of such a device, which is of course ludicrous.

    If Apple want design patents, they should add stuff - create stuff - not reduce something to it's constituent elements and then arrogantly try and claim ownership of them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, they should add buttons and pens and LEDs everywhere, just like all tablets were in the past.

      oh wait.

    2. Philip Lewis

      "Tablets are so bloody minimal in essence anyway."

      Have you ever actually seen what a Samsung tablet look like before the iPad? No, thought not. Otherwise you would not make such an astoundingly ignorant comment.

      1. Mark .

        Re: "Tablets are so bloody minimal in essence anyway."

        No, but I saw media players around 2009 before Apple (which were tablets - i.e., handheld devices for media, Internet and software - they just weren't called that until Android devices popularised the term), and they looked the same.

    3. Steven Roper

      Re: effectively claiming ownership of the ENTIRE CONCEPT of such a device

      That's exactly what Apple want to do. If the corporate justice system gave them everything they wanted, Apple would ensure that they were the only source of any form of computing device on the planet. It's nothing to do with innovation and everything to do with absolute, megalomaniacal control of the information industry and all the information processed thereby. It's why they invented the "walled garden". It's why they invented the concept of remotely installing and deleting information on a device that you've paid for and thought you owned. Apple don't want anyone to own anything except themselves.

      That's why I have zero tolerance for them and their fanboi supporters.

    4. Nigel 11

      Legal precedents

      It's been established that you cannot patent or copyright the external shape of a car exhaust pipe. That's because only one shape can fit underneath any particular model of car, and therefore there is no freedom to do anything different.

      The same, surely, for a pocketable tablet. The overall design is dictated by the pocket.

      We may have been spared such lawsuits back when the clam-shell mobile first appeared on the scene, because there was such obvious prior art. The Star Trek communicator. They couldn't make a working one, but the overall design was still obvious.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Legal precedents

        Make it as an ellipsoid, or a square, or a ... and I am not completely sure about this idea they are pocket sized or shaped, the samsung is designed like it is because the iPad is a successful design shape, it would be a way bigger risk to make it a different shape or style. Far easier to make it exactly the same and cheaper.

        1. EvilGav 1
          Thumb Down

          Re: Legal precedents

          No, all tablets are shaped like they are because that's the size and shape screens are made. For viewing material on a screen, a rectangular shape is the most convenient shape for the screen, any curves around the edge would be wasting space.

          Everything beyond that is based around how small you can make the electronics to fit behind the screen and the interface requirements of the OS.

          I have a Dell Axim x51v (bought in 2006, with a 2 year old design), it required hardware buttons to interact with Windows Mobile, but beyond that it's design isn't a million miles from the iPad or how about a Dell Latitude XT, announced in 2007? Looking at only the front surface, when set in tablet mode - how different is that from the iPad?

          The claim is that they look the same from a single view-point and not too close to read the name - you could do much the same with the side view of a Jaguar XK8 and an Aston Martin DB7.

          1. Nigel 11
            Thumb Down

            Chicken and egg.

            > No, all tablets are shaped like they are because that's the size and shape screens are made.

            Are you sure? From what I know of the technology there would be no great difficulty in making TFT screens oval or triangular or any other shape without concavities. The electronics to drive such an odd array would be more complex, but hardly impossible. If there were any massive demand. There isn't. Do you think an oval phone would score any cool points over a rectangular one?

            Pockets are rectangular. The larger things that go in pockets, like wallets and phones, are rectangular. A round one would be wasting space in the corners, and would have certain other drawbacks, like rotating in the pocket so you couldn't immediately know top from bottom.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Legal precedents

        "We may have been spared such lawsuits back when the clam-shell mobile first appeared on the scene, because there was such obvious prior art. The Star Trek communicator. They couldn't make a working one, but the overall design was still obvious."

        Well, in that case ST:TNG had the PADD which isn't that far removed either...

    5. Mark .

      "These are basic elements of the constuction of the device - necessary for it to exist. It also applies to the monitor I have in front of me."

      Indeed. I did once have the misfortunte to witness someone say of a large flatscreen TV, "It looks like a giant Ipad!" Yes, something that is basically a screen looks like something else that is basically a screen. It hurt my head to hear someone saying that a screen looks like an Ipad, rather than an Ipad looking like a screen...

      No doubt if the Apple TV rumours ever turn out to be true, people will be falling over themselves to say how Samsung, LG etc copied Apple, even though they were making TVs for years before.

  7. Hellcat

    UK High Court Judge Colin Birss is really making US Judge Lucy Koh look rather silly now. Obviously the idea of prior art, and being of a pre-existing family of devices is lost on her. Someone hadn't done their homework!

    In other news, the US ban on the Nexus has also currently been over-turned. Overall a good day for the consumer.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I wouldn't say silly, the different outcomes are easily explained.

      Read page 8 to see how Judge Birss took the advice of the Court of Justice of the European Union (PepsiCo v Grupo Promer) to look at both devices from the perspective of an informed user. This is a user that is "particularly observant", with "high degree of attention", "knowledge of the design corpus" and can "conduct a direct comparison of the designs". As he says this is also different from the observer used for trademark law.

      He adds "I was struck by how similar they look to the Apple design when they are resting on a table. They look similar because they both have the same front screen. It stands out. However to the informed user (which at that stage I was not) these screens do not stand out to anything like the same extent."

      The US court doesn't consider an informed user so, like in Judge Birss's first observation, they found the designs to be too similar.

      Which user profile reflects a typical buyer? That's left as an exercise to the reader.

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        @Nine Circles

        Thanks for taking the time to read the judgement and share your legal knowledge. It's a shame you have so few up votes.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        So what he's basically saying is "You'd have to be dumb to say these were the same if you knew about tablets. Or lying and wasting my time."

      3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        "Which user profile reflects a typical buyer? That's left as an exercise to the reader."

        At the risk of appearing to be a troll, I'd suggest the informed user is the one that doesn't buy the Apple product. Whether they buy a Samsung product, a tablet made by another manufactuere, or no tablet at all instead, is another matter entirely.

      4. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        @Nine Circles RE ".............from the perspective of an informed user."

        Interesting that the advice to judges from the Court of Justice of the European Union is framed in that way. It is also interesting that implicit in that advice is the acknowledgement that judgements delivered in the absence of such a perspective are delivering it from a lowest common denominator consumer point of view. By that I mean that if it is possible that a significant number of The Transcendent Order of the Ignorati might be fooled then it is accepted (currently in the US at any rate) that the defendant is in breach. It does of course offer an amusing picture of a fantasy courtroom somewhere in the US (or in Germany given some of the judgements that have been handed down there) where Apple lawyers are questioning prospective jurors (if juries were used in such cases - I said it was a fantasy courtroom :P) "do you have difficulty tying you own shoelaces without a diagram? No? Rejected, next candidate!"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Making a case

      It is not as though Samsung did not have the opportunity to "educate" Ms. Koh, is it. Apparently Samsung were either singularly unable to make the case you claim is self evident or did not try. It's early times in this process ... more to come.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      And this'd be the same Judge Koh that used to work for the company that did legal work for Apple? (though attempts to discern if she actually worked on Apple IP legalese hasn't met any response from attempts to contact the company apparently).

      Even so, there's a strong appearance of familiarity between Koh and Apple, and it's odd that she was allowed to make rulings on this and not excuse herself.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the 80's

    Just think, all those playground arguments about was the Spectrum better than the C64? If a judge had ruled on it, just as with Apple today, it would have all been settled.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: In the 80's

      Yeah, this is the exact same thing, except instead of kids in the schoolyard, it's the freakin' companys in court!

      Amazing how the tech end advances, but the corporate end is devolving, isn't it?

      1. Nigel 11


        Yes. It's another sign of a sick society. The same sickness that has engulfed out banks and financial services. It's managed to corrupt our legislature. If it gets to corrupt our judiciary, we're doomed. I fear that it already has done so in the USA.

      2. Mark .

        Re: In the 80's

        And the same thing in the media - most of the mainstream tech media is now "Apple is cool, anyone else sucks" playground arguments, there're few places to go to actually get objective unbiased coverage on new products.

    2. Jyve

      Re: In the 80's

      For future reference for further playground arguments;

      C64 > ZX Spectrum

      Amiga > Atari ST

      Android > iOS

      Depeche Mode > Human League

      Chocolate Concrete > Spotted Dick

      Regular Custard > Pink Custard

      Tiswas > Anything Noel Edmunds EVER does

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You did most of those wrong on purpose, right?

        ....also WTF is 'Chocolate Concrete'? we didn't have that in 80s - I'd Google it, but last time I did that from here it was to find out what 'goatse' was and I'm not falling for that again.

        1. Jyve

          Re: @Jyve

          Flour, sugar, chocolate powder, margarine.

          mixed up, chucked on a baking tray, and left to slightly overburn/overcook. It was rock hard solid slices for pudding, often served with the aforementioned pink custard (yeuch).

          As kids, we'd bend cutlery trying to cut the stuff, and as were were all young 'uns at the time, I recall a few kids losing teeth (that were wobbly anyway) to it.

          I still maintain;

          C64 > Spectrum > Amstrad.

          (though the Speccys Amstrad made weren't that bad eventually).

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Jyve

            Speaking of Amstrad, there is the interesting story of the Penpad.

            All the time Apple were developing a portable computer with handwriting recognition in secret (the Newton), Amstrad were developing the Penpad (the same principle if more primitive).

            Amstrad genuinely had no idea what Apple were up to until late in development and got their product to market first by a couple of weeks.

            Can you imagine the fuss if that happened today? Apple would have had Amstrad in court quicker than you can say "You're Fired" regardless of how rubbish either product was.

            Although I would have loved to have seen Margaret Mountford in action against the ambulance chasers at Apple!

          2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: @Jyve

            Spectrum better than the Amstrad? I'm afraid I have to disagree with you there. Despite being made by Siralan, the Amstrad was better for a number of reasons:

            - More memory (64k or 128k versus 48k)

            - Built in cassette / disk drive versus dodgy external one requiring you to hit the pause/stop button at the right time.

            - Far superior graphics, as opposed to the monstrosity that was the Speccy's attempt at handling more than 2 colours. The Amstrad had higher resolution / colour depth, using up a full 16k of its memory.

            - The speccy had a power supply you could cook eggs on, the Amstrad CPCs had an internal supply which produced very little heat.

        2. ukgnome Silver badge

          Re: @AC 04:48

          Chocolate Concrete is essentially a brownie that has been baked too long. As Jyve has pointed out it could break teeth and shatter steel.

      2. LinkOfHyrule

        Depeche Mode > Human League

        CASIO Keyboard present samba rhythm backing track > Human League

        Corrected it for you - they really do suck harder than you initially suggested.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In the 80's

        C64 > ZX Spectrum - No

        Amiga > Atari ST - Yes

        Android > iOS - Yes

        Depeche Mode > Human League - Hell yes

        Chocolate Concrete > Spotted Dick - Both vile

        Regular Custard > Pink Custard - Ditto

        Tiswas > Anything Noel Edmunds EVER does - Well, Duh!

      4. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        @ Jyve Re: In the 80's

        You forgot the obvious Star Wars / Star Trek

    3. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: In the 80's

      The spectrum was way better than the C64! Well the 128K version was anyway.

  9. Doogie1

    "They are not as cool"

    Nor would you be if you'd just been dried in a microwave

  10. Shagbag

    Apple: "This kind of blatant copying..."

    Judge: "They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design."

    Eat shit Apple.

  11. OrsonX

    Open the iPod Bay Doors

    This has been pointed out ad naseum but there loads of Sci-Fi prior art examples, 2001 being a fine example where we see Dave & Frank playing with their iPads whilst eating their space-food.

    Surely then Apple copied Stanley Kubrick?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This'll be the test case cited next time a leading clothes label have a go at Primark for ripping off their designs.

    "Summing up in the case, Lord Justice Rupert Farquhar said that whilst there were clearly striking similarities between Armarni and Primarni clothes, the later are invariably made of polyester, worn by chavs and sold in outlets situated inbetween a Stella-stocked cash-and-carry and a KFC..."

  13. Jeebus

    Good news, nice to see some dry wit bitchslapping one of the supercorps. Well played judge. Eliminated a huge scope for appeal. Score one for the consumer [as said above].

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking for a new job methinks

    Are clearly his words went WELL beyond what he should have said. It's also clear what hardware he owns...

    What he (and every other Apple fanboy fails to grasp), that simplicity is a double edged sword. Yes the iPad may be simple, but it's simple for a reason, because it's aimed at simple people to achieve simple things.

    In other words, it's a V-Tech for adults with special needs. You can't actually do anything useful on them, beyond what a £50 supermarket tablet can do.

    1. TangD

      Re: Primark

      Damn you, that made me all nostalgic for blighty

    2. TangD

      Re: Looking for a new job methinks

      Well I can see why you went anonymous for that one, sharp wit and starling insight! You weren't posting similarly on the CNN boards earlier were you?

    3. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Looking for a new job methinks

      To cut your argument down to its essence: "Dear everyone who does anything on the internet, I'm afraid that you are a simple person with special needs. Lots of love, AC"

      Newton said: "Truth is ever to be found in simplicity"; I guess Newton's works on maths, physics, philosophy, etc, were just aimed at simple people to achieve simple things?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Looking for a new job methinks

        >I guess Newton's works on maths, physics, philosophy, etc, were just aimed at simple people to achieve simple things?

        Its an appropriate analogy - Apple is very much the Newton of today....

        'if I have seen further it is by publishing the work of others...' is the quote that best sums him up.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Looking for a new job methinks

      No, the point may have been: it's a great device and well-designed but there are limits as to how much a "simple design" can be protected.

      The judge has come close to damning Apples "magical and revolutionary" device by faint praise and diplomatically thrown the case out.

    5. simlb

      Re: Primark

      "sold in outlets situated inbetween a Stella-stocked cash-and-carry and a KFC"

      In Wigan it's in between KFC and MaccyD's (Google street view will confirm). Oh, the irony...

      Mine's the one with the pockets full of sweets from Poundland across the road.

  15. Maurice Tate

    "Who are you gonna sue next, the slab from "2001"?"

  16. Admiral Duncan

    An Etch-A-Sketch isn't a hand-held computer

    The original judgement:

    includes these words of wisdom

    "17 Samsung pointed to differences between the lists of features relied on by Apple in the various parallel proceedings. I did not find analysing these differences to be a profitable exercise."


    "44 The term "handheld computer" is the Art 36(2) indication of the product in the Apple registered design. Whatever the correct definition of the relevant product is in relation to the Apple registered design, I would be surprised if it included an Etch-A-Sketch."

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Blighty! so far, maybe the last refuge of the sane judge in this world of litigation....

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Sane Judge

      That's because we funnel all our insane judges into the Libel Courts.

  18. Benjamin 4

    Another word for simplicity:

    The complete lack of all features!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another word for simplicity:

      Another word for kitchen design circa 2000 and 80's wall paper?


  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design."

    I am glad of that! I hate Apples simple, single button design.. I like having a menu and back button on my samsung devices!

    "The overall impression produced is different."

    Yep thats true, With Apple I feel that they think I am a child, with Samsung I am treated like an adult, I am old enough to change batteries, I can handle more than one button, and I do like being able to add storage myself.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Change the battery on a Samsung

      You can change the battery on a Galaxy Tab 10.1? Must say, that's come as a complete surprise to me. I have one in front of me and it looks as locked down as the iPad in terms of battery replacement.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: Change the battery on a Samsung

        the question may be whether you can dismantle, replace battery and reassemble it using a normal techie's toolkit and a bit of Googling, or whether it's designed to be tamper-proof or unrepairable (which in my book ought to be illegal except when there's a strong health and safety reason).

        I don't actually know.

  20. Turtle_Fan

    Go judge Birss

    While not a fanboi of Apple nor Android, I'm beginning to form an affection for the judge given his past record on the Andrew Crossley scam and now this.

    I certainly appreciate his outspoken remarks in his decisions that seem to go well beyond the usual stale, forensic style of most official court decisions.

  21. JaitcH

    Old Farts dressed in strange hairpieces have ...

    never been my idea of a technical resource.

    This guy's advice seems as unreliable as David Pogue - the alleged wife beater who lectures at seminars against violence to women (he was arrested and charged) - of the New York Times whose present bed warmer is a woman employed in the California tech PR business.

    Talk about bias, or maybe the judge is so dumb he can only handle simple things.Like powdering his funny wig,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old Farts dressed in strange hairpieces have ...

      I think the bias is between your eyes and your brain somewhere. You clearly have a very biased opinion of judges, for example. Did you actually bother reading the ruling, or did you just form a (biased) opinion without full evidence?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old Farts dressed in strange hairpieces have ...

      "maybe the judge is so dumb he can only handle simple things."

      I hate to break your biased world view, but one does not get through a law degree, bar exams and enough practice to become a judge by being 'dumb'.

    3. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Re: Old Farts dressed in strange hairpieces have ...

      "ever been my idea of a technical resource."

      Oh. It's good that he's a judge and not a service engineer then (although the BOFH may have a thing or 2 to say about service engineers).

  22. heyrick Silver badge

    One thing that strikes me...

    Are Apple claiming their customers are complete halfwits?

    Sure, there're a lot of lookee-likee products out there, and the average dumbass might go "ooh shiny" at anything from a first edition Kindle to the latest iPad. Thing is, though, the smarter ones out there - the sort of well to do client both companies ought to be trying to lure (esoecially Apple) ought to be highly annoyed at the suggestion that they couldn't tell a Samsung from an Apple. Certainly anybody who has actually used such a device ought to know it well enough to be able to tell them apart.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One thing that strikes me...

      They aren't claiming it, they know it. That's how they manage to keep selling the same thing with only a mimimal improvement to the same people year after year by telling them it's 'all new'.

  23. Sad Git

    If Apple made cars

    Just imagine if Apple made cars.

    Sorry, you can't sell that car you've copied our design:

    It has four wheels, an engine and seating or up to five passengers!

    Nuff said.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: If Apple made cars

      You win the award...

      Its more like Apple saying we have designed a porsche, all the details the shape, etc, and samsung come along build almost exactly the same car, change the engine to a Mercedes engine and leave the badge off

      Your average buyer comes along, looks like a porsche, has a decent engine, and is about 2/3 the cost.

      Is this a problem? apple thinks so because they are taking their customers, me? I dont think it matters much.

      1. Sad Git

        Re: If Apple made cars

        Actually, it's Apple that have left the badge off.

        I thought the word SAMSUNG written across the device was a dead give away.

        Obviously Apple can't read.

  24. auburnman

    Apple's reps are being awfully incautious with their language, aren't they? From what they seem to be saying in the article, they aren't saying "We believe Samsung copied the iPad," but flatly asserting "Samsung have copied the iPad." Are they allowed to do that before the judge has ruled in their favour? Assuming it goes Samsung's way after all the appeals and cruft, could they countersue for corporate slander or somesuch?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Are they allowed to do that before the judge has ruled in their favour?"


      Otherwise the libel courts would be choked with people suing over their husbands having said "I'll mow the lawn tomorrow".

  25. Anonymous Coward

    Who gives a fuck really?

    It's like bitching about paper backs looking similar.

    Oh for fucks sake, "Our paper back has a picture of a cowboy and they copied it - they have a picture of a partly naked a cowboy hat and jeans..." Piss and moan the Apple copy righters...

    And and the front of ours has writing on it... and so does theirs...

    And it opens to reveal pages and an index in the front - of fucking chapters for christs sake...

    They copied us... "

    The judge should have given the whining shits a public flogging in the town square for being whining arseholes.

    Not that the people in Apple "never copied nuffin guv" either.

  26. Ben Rosenthal

    Whatever "cool" may or may not be, it's not decided by a gowned and wigged old geezer in any court, of any land.

    I like that prior art has been noted in this case, Apple may have been the first to get it right and have a hit with the form factor, but it was not nearly the first to try it.

  27. Thomas_Kent


    Form follows function.

  28. nsld
    Paris Hilton

    The elephant in the room

    Is the judges comments that both items belong to a family with significant prior art.

    This completely destroys the Apple belief that they invented the tablet. World of difference between inventing something or making something popular.

    1. Mark .

      Re: The elephant in the room

      Even on popularity, it's worth noting that the absurd amount of hype _preceded_ the Ipad even being announced, let alone released, so was not directly due to anything that Apple did. Once they'd got so much vast free advertising, they clearly had advantage over all the previous tablets (e.g., media players common in 2009, or the first Android tablets actually released from Archos before Apple), not to mention the advantage of being the only ones available in shops, and most of the media producing "apps" for Apple, but for no one else.

      If it was the case that consumers looked at a row of tablets on a shelf, and picked Apple, then that would be fine - but it's sad that popularity was never decided like that. There's yet to be a fair fight in tablets - once other tablets are covered by the media and available in shops, then we'll see how the market turns out. Long term, I hope that Android gets the coverage and support it deserves.

      (Also, I'd say that tablets have been popularised for years, far more so than Ipads, we just called them smartphones or PDAs. It's only the 10" form factor that only came a lot more recently. The media have recently redefined "tablet" to only mean a large device, to make Apple look like they were first, but this is not a correct usage of the term.)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple and the bleeding obvious

    I like.

    "180. In evidence Apple emphasised the way in which Samsung offered the tablets for sale on the internet, with more views of the front than of the back. I do not regard that evidence as having much to do with this case. The informed user will not simply look at images of these products on websites."

    Who'd have thunk it? A device intended for media comsumption through its front display and Samsung showed more pictures of the bit you would be looking at rather than the bit that would spend the majority of its working life pointed away from the user (or even hidden by a protective cover.

    1. Crisp Silver badge

      Re: Apple and the bleeding obvious

      I've noticed that a lot of products for sale on the internet have more views of the front of the product rather than the back.

      As a general rule, shoppers really aren't interested in the back side of things.

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        Re: Apple and the bleeding obvious

        > As a general rule, shoppers really aren't interested in the back side of things.

        At least when they shop from work...

        1. Nigel 11
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Apple and the bleeding obvious

          > As a general rule, shoppers really aren't interested in the back side of things.

          Except for jeans.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Apple design

    Apple did not contend that either of its famous iPad products should be used as

    concrete examples of the Apple design. Neither the original iPad nor the iPad 2 are

    identical to the design. Whether either of them is or is not within the scope of

    protection would be a matter of debate. To use either as an example of the Apple

    design would be to beg the question of the true scope of Apple’s rights.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dont you just hate people how advocate a particluar product/manufacturer!

    Apple, cool, Pah! Usign them is the same sentence clearly means your an advertisers dream.

  32. georgePR

    and what about this ruling in a UK court? it stings a bit, doesn't it?

    "However, the High Court dismissed Apple’s arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, or designs that were previously created or patented, from 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.

    "Equally important, the court also found distinct differences between theSamsung and Apple tablet designs, which the court claimed were apparent to the naked eye. For instance, the court cited noticeable differences in the front surface design and in the thinness of the side profile. 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 recognised by the court for having leveraged such conditions of the rear surface to clearly differentiate its tablet products through 'visible detailing.'

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