Cupertino design giant Apple Inc has been ordered to publish a notice on its website, and in a variety of publications, stating that Samsung Electronics did not copy the design of its iPad. This follows the judgment of Judge Colin Birss on 9 July, in which he held that Samsung Electronics did not infringe Apple’s Community Design Rights when it released its Galaxy Tab line of tablets. The judgment was extensive in its exploration and application of the relevant law, although headlines were made when Judge Birss described the Galaxy Tab as being “not as cool” as its Apple rival.
The Order will come as a blow to Apple, perhaps even more so than losing its claim for infringement of its Community Design Rights. The company has previously been described as an extension of the late Steve Jobs’ ego and one can only speculate on how the famously temperamental Jobs would have reacted to this news.
Apple is said to have been ordered to advertise the notice on its UK website for a period of six months, as well as in the Daily Mail, the Financial Times, the Guardian Mobile magazine and technology publication T3. The Order was not mentioned in Judge Birss’ judgment, although its terms are said to have been discussed shortly after.
Apple was granted permission to appeal the judgment of 9 July, and will no doubt be desperate to have the terms of the Order set aside. It wasn’t all bad news for Apple, however, as Samsung’s application for an injunction to prevent Apple making public statements that the Galaxy Tab infringed its rights was not granted. Judge Birss stated that Apple is entitled to its opinion, even if that opinion is that the judgment was incorrect.