South Korea's Samsung (IW 1000/12) won a patent battle Monday against U.S. rival Apple (IW 500/14), with a British judge ruling that Samsung's Galaxy tablet was not "cool" enough to be confused with Apple's iPad.
Britain's high court ruled that the Galaxy tablet made by Samsung, the world's largest electronics company, did not infringe Apple's registered design and that consumers were not likely to confuse it with the iPad tablet.
"They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design," Judge Colin Birss said in his ruling.
"They are not as cool."
He added that the Samsung tablet is much thinner than the iPad, with "unusual details on the back," and gave Apple 21 days to appeal against the decision.
iPad vs. Samsung
The iPad holds around 65% of the burgeoning global tablet computer market, with the Samsung Galaxy making up around 6% of global sales, according to researchers ABI and IHS.
A Samsung spokeswoman welcomed the judgment and warned its rival against further legal action.
"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," she said.
An Apple spokesman insisted that the Samsung had stolen designs from the U.S. giant but declined to say whether the firm would be appealing against the ruling.
"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," he told AFP.
"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."
Apple and Samsung are engaged in a slew of patent suits against each other in international courts, with both companies vying for a bigger stake of the smartphone and tablet markets.
A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected Samsung's bid to overturn a ban on U.S. sales of its Galaxy Nexus smartphones, which are made in collaboration with Google.
Also on Friday, Samsung said it expected a record operating profit of $5.9 billion in the second quarter, amid strong sales of its mobile devices.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012