Apple and Samsung have been duking it out in court rooms around the world for many months, and a ruling today brings an interesting twist to the never-ending saga.
A U.K. judge has ordered Apple to admit on its website and in British newspapers that Samsung has not copied the design of the iPad. Previously, the U.K. court had ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy Tabs didn’t ripoff the iPad because “they are not as cool.” What today’s ruling essentially means is that Apple will have to advertise for Samsung’s Galaxy series on the web and in British newspapers.
The notice should outline the July 9 London court decision that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets don’t infringe Apple’s registered designs, Judge Colin Birss said. It should be posted on Apple’s U.K. website for six months and published in several newspapers and magazines to correct the damaging impression the South Korea-based company was copying Apple’s product, Birss said.
The order means Apple will have to publish “an advertisement” for Samsung, and is prejudicial to the company, Richard Hacon, a lawyer representing Cupertino, California-based Apple, told the court. “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website.”
Both Apple and Samsung have repeatedly accused each other of ripping off product and software designs. The whole string of disputes is based off fundamental questions about the legitimacy of prior art, generic design standards, and the minefield known as software patents.
It will be interesting to see how Apple spins this required PR for Samsung. The picture of Apple doing any sort of advertising at all for another company—especially one like Samsung—is very hard to imagine.
Apple is not only battling Samsung in court over patent infringement, but other tech companies like HTC and Google.