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October 19, 2012

Will Apple Turn Red for Having to Admit Samsung Didn't Steal its Intellectual Property?

By Ed Silverstein, TMCnet Contributor

Not only did Apple (News - Alert) lose its latest appeal to Samsung in the United Kingdom; it has to admit in print that Samsung didn’t steal its intellectual property.

That may not sound like “cricket” for Apple, which recently won at least a $1.05 billion judgment against Samsung (News - Alert) after a lengthy California jury trial. That verdict is being appealed by Samsung in the United States.

But this week, Britain's Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in the case. The lower court ruled in July that Samsung's Galaxy computers "do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity, which is possessed by the Apple design.

They are not as cool," according to a report carried on TMCnet.

This week, writing for a panel of three judges, Appeals Judge Robin Job said, "The acknowledgement must come from the horse's mouth. Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely."

Earlier, U.K. Judge Colin Birss told Apple it had to post a statement on its website and put an advertisement in magazines and newspapers. 

These include the Daily Mail, Financial Times (News - Alert), T3 Magazine and other publications, the BBC said.

Image via Shutterstock

In July, Richard Hacon, a lawyer for Apple, told the court, “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website,” according to Bloomberg News.

Samsung appears pleased.

"We welcome the court's judgment, which reaffirmed our position that our Galaxy Tab products do not infringe Apple's registered design right," Samsung said in a statement carried by PC Magazine. "We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art. Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited."

Apple could try to appeal to the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court. If does not get the latest ruling overturned, it will be in effect throughout the European Union, the BBC said.

There are related cases by Apple against Samsung in Germany, The Netherlands, Australia and elsewhere, according to news reports.

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