Patent News | "Samsung gains edge in Apple patent war"

By : Cho Ji-hyun 
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Category : Trademark Infringement 

Samsung Electronics has gained an edge in its global patent battle with its rival Apple Inc. as a UK court ordered the Cupertino-based firm to publish public notices that Galaxy tablet PCs did not copy the iPad’s designs.

On Wednesday, UK Judge Colin Birss ordered Apple to post a notice on the firm’s UK website and in British newspapers alerting people that Samsung did not copy the designs of the iPad for its Galaxy Tab.

The order follows a July 9 London court decision that the Suwon, Gyeonggi Province-based firm’s tablets do not infringe on Apple’s registered designs. Birss also said the notice should be posted on Apple’s UK website for six months as well as in several newspapers and magazines -- such as the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine and T3 -- to correct any impression that Samsung was copying Apple’s products.

Apple responded by stating that the court’s order indicated it had to publish “an advertisement” for its rival, further elaborating that “no company likes to refer to a rival on its website”.

Samsung declined to comment on the issue, saying that it was seen as a follow-up measure to the court’s ruling reached earlier this month.

The decision, however, is most likely to deal a blow to Apple, especially considering that it is a matter involving what Apple values most -- its design.

Apple has been labeling Samsung as a “copycat” since the Korean company started launching its Galaxy-named wireless gadgets, including smartphones and tablet PCs.

The UK court’s decision also takes place shortly after the US firm recently won favorable ground in its home turf.

Last month, a US court gave the green light to immediately block the sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, taking Apple’s side on patent infringement. It gave an additional week of sales for the Galaxy Nexus -- a smartphone developed jointly with Google -- but it has also been put on the US sales ban list.

With Samsung already filing an appeal to the injunctions, the two firms are scheduled to stand in US court for their first trial on July 30.

Apple showed it has already been long engaged in preparation as a US judge approved its request to bar disparaging statements made by Steve Jobs about Google’s Android platforms from its patent trial with Samsung on Wednesday.

Apple’s co-founder and former chief executive Steve Jobs told his biographer that he was willing to go “thermonuclear” to “destroy” Google’s operating system.

“This is the first trial globally, not another injunction, which indicates that the results of this one will most likely have massive impact on the two companies,” said an industry source.

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