Samsung’s court troubles seem to be getting a bit tougher in the US, though it could be worse. As per the latest development on the patent infringement issue between Samsung and Apple, a court in the US under the district judge Lucy Koh has ruled that Samsung does infringe on Apple patents. There is, however, an addendum to this ruling which requires Apple to prove the validity of the patents, something that experts claim will not be easy for Apple.
So the ruling seems to have something for both Samsung and Apple. While Samsung has been spared a complete ban on the sale of its smartphones and tablets in the US, which the judge said isn’t too urgently necessary as of now, Apple can have solace in the fact that Samsung lost the patent battle.
Also, Judge Lucy Koh had a novel method in proving Samsung products do look the same as Apple, a key accusation made by Apple against its South Korean rival. She held aloft both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Apple iPad above her head asked the lawyers representing Samsung to identify which was which. The fact that the lawyers did take some time to point out the Samsung tablet was enough to bring home the point that to the average consumers, that both the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the iPad does look the same.
Samsung denied having copied the iPad look saying there were previous artworks, such as in Sci-Fi movies where tablet like devices did make an appearance. Apple countered this by saying previous artwork have little to no significance since it is the iPad that has started the tablet revolution. Aplle also stated ‘success matters more than ideas.’
Samsung is just fresh from having handed down a ban on the sale of its tablets in Australia and it surely wouldn’t like to have anything of that sort in the USA, which is considered the biggest tablet market in the world. Least of all when the holiday shopping season is just a few weeks away.
The respite for Samsung may be short lived, as Judge Koh has stated she is most likely to side with Apple in the long run, more so on the design related patents. We will get to know the final judgement soon as Koh has stated she will deliver the final judgement ‘fairly soon.’
Anyway, as for the distinction in design that Apple is seeking against Samsung, what seems obvious is that most consumers would not be able to correctly make out which tablet is made by whom if asked to identify from a distance. This since almost all share the same form factor. The same applies to the TV segment as well as nearly all TV look the same. Interestingly, the same isn’t applicable to the e-book readers as there is a lot of individuality built into the e-readers currently available. So much that the average e-book reading public one can make out, with a fair degree of accuracy, as to which is the Amazon Kindle or the B&N Nook Color.