Judge Orders Apple to Tell UK that Samsung Didn’t Copy iPad

A judge in England has ordered Apple to proclaim to all the land that Samsung did not copy the iPad. That’s bitter medicine when contrasted with the ruling the order was based on: Judge Colin Birss ruled earlier in July that Samsung’s devices didn’t infringe on Apple’s design patent because they weren’t as cool as Apple’s iPad.

“[Samsung’s tablet designs] do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool,” Judge Birss said.

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At the time, that seemed like a hollow victory for Samsung. On the one hand the company was cleared of patent infringement claims from Apple in the UK, but at the same time a stodgy English judge was telling all the world that Samsung’s designs were…uncool.

In the new ruling, Judge Birss said that Apple must post on its UK website notice that Samsung didn’t copy the iPad. Bloomberg reported that the judge said this was needed to correct any impression that Samsung was the blatant and slavish copycat that Apple has asserted. He also said that Apple has to place similar notices in UK newspapers and magazines.

In court documents, Apple protested the order, saying that it amounted to Apple having to advertise for its competitor. “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website,” lawyer Richard Hacon told the court.

Apple will have to place the ads in The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3.

Apple will appeal the ruling, and Judge Birss gave his permission to pursue that appeal.