Apple has lost an appeal against Samsung in the latest round of its infringement battles. Yesterday's result, in the Court of Appeal, reinforced an earlier verdict which made clear that Samsung had not infringed Apple's registered design rights in the iPad when creating its Galaxy tablet.
In July this year, His Honour Judge Colin Birss QC held that Samsung's tablets lacked the "extreme simplicity" of Apple's design, and were not "as cool", therefore, there could be no infringement. Today's decision is another blow to Apple, who has lost numerous lawsuits in a number of countries around the world based on its registered design infringement argument. The Court of Appeal judges felt, like HHJ Birss, that Samsung's device created a different overall impression on the informed user. Accordingly, there could be no infringement.
The original ruling had also ordered Apple to advertise the decision. As to whether to reject the original advertising ruling, Sir Robin Jacob in the Court of Appeal noted that the test was "whether there is a need to dispel commercial uncertainty". The Court of Appeal judges held that because of the publicity produced by this case and others both in the UK and around the World, there was arguably some uncertainty as to whether Samsung had infringed Apple's registered design. Therefore, the Court of Appeal rejected Apple's calls to overturn this part of the decision and Apple must now run a number of advertisements on its website, in newspapers and in magazines making it clear that Samsung did not infringe Apple's design rights.
Apple can appeal to the Supreme Court; however with similar decisions in the United States and Australia going Samsung's way, Apple may want to avoid any further publicity.