Apple has been ordered to spend a bit of its advertising budget in major newspapers on redacting its entire case against Samsung regarding the aesthetic similarities to the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
In an order from UK Judge Colin Birss on July 18, 2012 (following a ruling on July 9th), Apple was told by the court that Samsung had not infringed on their patents, because the Cupertino-based company’s iPad tablet was “cool” but Samsung’s “are not as cool,” even when they are “very very similar” when viewed from the front.
Apple responded to Birss order on July 9th in a statement saying that it was no coincidence that everything about Samsung’s tablet was a direct copy of theirs:
“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we’ve said many times before, we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
Samsung apparently attempted to block Apple from being able to make such comments, but the Judge quickly declined the censorship attempt, claiming simply that Apple was “entitled to their opinion.” Samsung claimed that Apple’s comments were causing them commercial harm.
The advertisement Apple is required to run doesn’t appear to have any specific content specified within it, meaning Apple appears to have full control over the ad itself.
It must be published on Apple’s UK website for six months, and in newspapers and magazines, including daily editions, according to the draft at Bloomberg.
The order hasn’t actually been implemented yet, and there is no specific time in which we’ve been given for when it will be. Samsung has been competitive with Apple in court for some time, and it would appear that Apple’s high-profile court case has backfired a little bit. For some time now, Samsung has been running advertisements with ‘foolish’ people waiting in line for what is implied to be an Apple product. There have also been some in which they depict Apple fans, but don’t specifically say they are. Apple, on the other hand, has never ran any advertisements referencing or even implying reference to Samsung in any way before. This is different from the advertising approach from years ago, when Apple’s “I’m a Mac” ads ran constantly on the television, implying “a PC” was a bit like Microsoft.
Lately, all of Apple’s ads have been completely enclosed in the experience of their products, and have not referenced any competition at all.
Apple’s court cases have a history of making big news, mostly because it’s Apple involved in them. They are currently the most valuable company on in the world, so it stands to reason that anything they or their executives do would make things news worthy. Many people, including myself, believe that Apple goes too far with legal battles. While I am agreeing that they go too far, remember that the entire purpose of the patent system, and having a patent on such innovations, is to protect that innovation from theft by competition. If Apple really does believe that their competitors are copying them, they have every right to take said copy-cat to court over it.
A spokeswoman for Samsung said that Apple’s legal claims continuously harm innovation, and limit consumer choices:
“Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.
Again, however, if the product does indeed challenge the system designed to protect innovations, then the product should not be allowed to exist in its current patent-infringing form. If it isn’t allowed to exist, by the power of that patent protection, than it would limit consumer choice. That’s just the nature of things. It does appear however, that Samsung will not have to deal with this much longer, as they have won in court.
Apple has not commented on the court order.
What do you think of this whole mess? Does it look too similar to the iPad? Did Apple have a case here? What do you think of the patent system, and did Apple have the right to contest the infringement of the protection of innovation? Let us know your thoughts by starting a conversation below!
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