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Dutch court rules Samsung didn't infringe on iPad design

updated 01:11 pm EDT, Fri May 31, 2013

Should allow Galaxy Tab 10.1 to remain on sale in Netherlands

The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn't infringe on the design of the Apple iPad, according to reports. Although Apple does hold a European design patent, the Court has limited the applicability of the patent based on prior art. The iPad has predecessors, such as a Knight Ridder concept tablet dating back well over a decade before Apple's product was released. The iPad may have a "unique character," the court adds, but the Galaxy Tab is sufficiently different that an informed person can tell.

The ruling will likely halt Apple efforts to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned from import into the Netherlands. In general, Apple hasn't had as much legal success against Samsung tablets as it has against phones. The main controversy has been Apple's attempt to lay claim to the "rounded rectangle" look of the iPad, which hasn't gained any traction in courts.

"Apple was not the first tablet designed with a rectangular shape and rounded corners," Samsung Netherlands states about the new ruling. "No company should have a monopoly on general design." Apple hasn't issued a statement of its own.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    "The iPad may have a "unique character," the court adds, but the Galaxy Tab is sufficiently different that an informed person can tell."

    Silly rabbits. It's not about the "informed person". An informed person could determine the difference between nearly any similar product. The uninformed might be duped though. Caveat emptor? To a degree, of course...

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08

    I agree with Flying Meat...

  1. elroth

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-05-06

    In court, even a Samsung Engineer couldn't tell the difference between an iPad and a Galaxy Tab from about 10 feet away.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    They do have a point, though: these days, people buying tablets are sufficiently informed about alternatives (in part through mainstream press coverage of the various lawsuits) that they can be expected to tell the difference and will probably not mistake a Samsung for an iPad. This was not the case two years ago.

    Of course, Apple's point is that the only reason those alternatives have even stood a chance is because they unfairly copied Apple fundamental design.

  1. Sebastien

    Registered User

    Joined: 04-29-00

    Wow, the Apple fanboys are getting rabid now!

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by SebastienView Post

    Wow, the Apple fanboys are getting rabid now!

    If you're gonna grace the news with your automated canned responses, at least take the trouble to read previous comments.

    Unless, of course, you no longer count me a "fanboy" (which would be the first time).

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