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Dutch court says Galaxy Tab doesn't infringe iPad design

updated 02:02 pm EST, Wed January 16, 2013

Follows precedent set by British courts

Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets don't infringe on the design of the Apple iPad, a district court in The Hague has ruled. Reuters notes that the lawsuit involved the rounded corners of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, and Galaxy Tab 7.7, which Apple claimed were copying a signature trait of the iPad. "We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples," reads a Samsung statement in response to the court win.

In its judgment, the Dutch court cites previous decisions by British courts as precedent. Apple has been widely criticized and even spoofed for pursuing Samsung over the rounded corner patent, since virtually every modern tablet follows that concept. Very few modern tablets use square corners.

Apple hasn't said whether it will appeal today's ruling. The company has ongoing lawsuits against Samsung in at least 10 countries, however, over a range of different intellectual property claims. In the US last year it was handed a $1.05 billion judgment in its favor, although Apple and Samsung are still hashing out the aftermath.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    'rounded corners' maybe not ...

    ... but almost exact look and feel when nothing prior existed ? Sounds like legal wordsmithing may have let Samesong escape their due retribution - I hope they nail Samesong to the wall by their own 'rounded corners'...

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    WAR IS NO GOOD. BOB, you stupid.

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08

    What is Apple's true motive?

    I have both Apple and non-Apple products. I'm happy with both. I'm more curious as to Apples real motivation behind these lawsuits. Yes, Samsungs tablet looks like an iPad. But then the iPad looks like the tablet computers in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey". And the iPhone is just a smaller version of the iPad. Apple did not invent the tablet PC. They just breathed new life into it.

    Maybe these lawsuits are really about Apple trying to dominate the tablet market through intimidation?

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Apostle: methinks you may be a bit confused (very forgivable given the complex state of affairs).

    Apple is suing almost nobody. It has sued Samsung over their copying of non-SEP patents and sued Samsung and Motorola (and previously HTC but they settled that) over FRAND abuse. Most of the lawsuits Apple is involved in, it is the defendant. So no, Apple is not trying to rule the tablet market by intimidation. Besides, it has ruled the tablet market (and continues to do so by a HUGE margin) since the first day the iPad came out, and did that primarily by the simple idea of making a better product than its competitors, which it continues to do.

    You admit that Samsung has deliberately styled their tablets to look like iPads, but don't see the problem with that? This isn't really about rounded corners: it's about Samsung's DELIBERATE choices to IMITATE the look and feel of the iPad. The corners patent is one part of it, and evidently not one that's going to be successful for Apple, but at least two juries have already told Samsung that they deliberately copied Apple's looks and feel.

    Tablets don't have to look like iPads. Look at the Microsoft Surface for example. GREAT job building a distinct tablet, and every review (even the ones that don't like it) praise the quality and workmanship of the external design. Samsung could have done that, but CHOSE NOT TO.

    I'm not even going to comment on the stupidity of claiming that Apple is infringing on a FICTIONAL and NONFUNCTIONAL movie prop. By that logic, NASA is infringing on Georges Mélies' 1902 film A TRIP TO THE MOON. If you can't see how silly this notion is, let's just say that all robotic research all over the world will need to come to a screeching halt, along with all car, TV and computer production ... because somebody thought of those things before they actually existed!

  1. daqman

    Junior Member

    Joined: 09-15-00

    chas_m: I am thoroughly in agreement with your statement about imitation. Each of the first few times that I saw a photograph of Samsung's Galaxy products I thought "why does that iPad/iPhone have extra buttons?". Not only the physical aspects like shape, trim, rounded corners, bezel colour but also the look of the screen, colouring and placement of icons were copies of the iPhone/iPad. People can argue all they want about there only being a certain number of ways that you can make a slab of glass with icons on the front but NOBODY had created anything like the iPhone and iPad but as soon as Apple did Samsung came up with a lookalike.

    As far as Sci-Fi references etc go. Yes, that's why the iPhone and iPad have the cool factor. They look like something from a Sci-Fi movie, my communicator looks better than Jim Kirk's. Again, even though the concept was there nobody made one that looked that good until Apple did then everyone wanted to board the gravy train.

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