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UK Judge: Galaxy Tab "Not Cool" Enough To Infringe iPad

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the go-ahead dept.

Patents 325

zacharye writes "U.K. Judge Colin Birss has ruled that Samsung can continue selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the region because the Android tablet is 'not as cool' as the iPad and therefore is unlikely to be confused with Apple's slate. Samsung's Galaxy line of tablets 'do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,' Judge Birss said. 'They are not as cool.'"

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Is the judge a member of Anon? (5, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593031)

Because that ruling really is for teh lulz. This quote is likely to become an internet meme all on its own, with thousands of pictures of cats sitting on Samsung tablets and half-witted captions about "keepn warrm on mah galaxy bcuz itz not cool"

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593149)

I for one find it ironic that I am reading an article on slashdot about iPads on my iPad on a day that slashdot changed something on their page thus making it unreadable now on my iPad. Yay slashdot way to hit me where it hurts.....:-(

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (5, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593689)

Odd, I'm responding on my iPad right now and don't have any readability problems with Slashdot.

Are you sure you're not using a Galaxy instead of an iPad? I hear they're not as cool, maybe that's the problem?

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (2, Funny)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593745)

I for one find it ironic that I am reading an article on slashdot about iPads on my iPad on a day that slashdot changed something on their page thus making it unreadable now on my iPad. Yay slashdot way to hit me where it hurts.....:-(

You should be proud that you're reading the unreadable, then....
Apple users... LOL!

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (5, Insightful)

thej1nx (763573) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593269)

Are you kidding? This is hilarious!! It puts Apple in the classic catch-22 position. Either they now seriously argue that Android tablets are "every bit as cool" as its IPAD devices... or they agree with the Judge and abandon their law suit. That just might be one shrewd Judge! Either way, Apple's options suck right now!

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593365)

Sounds like a checkmate to me, too.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (5, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593457)

I think it's a ruling that lots of people should be happy with... theoretically. It certainly does call Apple on its case that "it might be mistaken for..." Clearly, the judge sees the two devices as different enough not to be mistaken for the other and that's at the core of what their [current] suit is about.

Now, that's not to say they won't turn around and sue for some other idiotic thing, but at least that's one less thing they can sue about... in the UK. Good thing the judges tend to pay attention to what the others rule and take those ruling into consideration.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (5, Insightful)

PylonHead (61401) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593595)

Honestly, I went the other way on this one.

Samsung has just had their product ruled demonstrably inferior by a court of law. Not exactly a marketing message they want celebrate.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (1)

lymang (207777) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594043)

Yeah this was what I thought was the key point. A judge has now officially said "your product is uncool." One would think not only would they not want to celebrate that, they'd want to hide it.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40594063)

demonstrably? hardly.

'do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,' could just as easily say the Samsung product isn't a 'fisher price toy designed for flashy idiots'.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (2)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593605)

Actually Samsung is in the equally dubious position.
Yay we can keep selling our product because the competing product is cooler than ours is O_o

Or they can object to the wording and possibly get banned because it IS as cool.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (4, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593653)

I bothered to RTFA and the cool part isn't really what he was saying, just some throw-away soundbite. The decision was because Samsung products look substantially different to Apple products. To quote:

The judge found that Samsungâ(TM)s products were distinctive because they were thinner and had âoeunusual detailsâ on the back.

In other words they are a different, slimmer form factor and have a Samsung logo on the back. That is a double win for Samsung because it shows a judge isn't fooled by Apple's rather weak similarities argument and that Samsung's products are officially and legally declared thinner than Apple's (assuming you care, hipsters seem to).

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (3, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593697)

That just might be one shrewd Judge!

That is apparent, and with a dry sense of humour.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593815)

Or they could simply argue that he focused only on that one issue to the exclusion of the others, thus disregarding more important considerations. It's not exactly hard for them to reaffirm their belief that their devices are cooler while still insisting that infringement took place and that the infringement is happening regardless of the coolness.

I know it's fun to imagine Apple painted into a corner, but come on, IANAL and even I can imagine a simple defense that doesn't rely on contradicting the judge's opinion regarding the idea that the iPad is cooler.

Nonetheless, I still got a chuckle out of the idea you pointed out. ;)

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (2)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593905)

Are you kidding? This is hilarious!! It puts Apple in the classic catch-22 position. Either they now seriously argue that Android tablets are "every bit as cool" as its IPAD devices... or they agree with the Judge and abandon their law suit.

Or they could argue that the judge has incorrectly applied trade dress law ;-)

It is still funny, but only superficially.

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593307)

Because that ruling really is for teh lulz. This quote is likely to become an internet meme all on its own, with thousands of pictures of cats sitting on Samsung tablets and half-witted captions about "keepn warrm on mah galaxy bcuz itz not cool"

No, the judge is obviously a Brony. Here's the ruling, straight from the horse's mouth: "It needs to be about 20% cooler [youtube.com] ."

Re:Is the judge a member of Anon? (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593527)

He possibly quoted the opinion of a "professional" witness, which he has to accept as is.

IFag devices (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593057)

It's also not gay enough.

Sent from my iFag device.

Burn! (1)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593075)

That was a pretty sick burn on the judge's part.

Re:Burn! (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593245)

Could lead Apple to do the first-ever use of a negative ruling in a legal battle in an ad promoting a product ;)

Can you imagine this in other kind of rulings? "I find the defendant not guilty of stealing her purse because he's far too fat to steal anything but a nap, the attacker was described as running away (not waddling), the grease and tomato stains on every shirt he's worn to the court proceedings make it clear that his hands would have been too full of pizza to hold it, and judging from his unimaginably bad test scores, I'm not even sure he could have figured out how to open the zipper."

Horrible Logic (5, Insightful)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593095)

The rule is fine, but the logic used is horrible. Instead of pointing out how obviously screwed up the patent system is, we see this: A special case exception based on an opinion, which is most obviously not law and can not be translated in to law!

Re:Horrible Logic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593135)

It's a perfectly valid ruling in light of the ridiculous design patent. OMG we invented rounded corners!!!

Re:Horrible Logic (3, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593215)

The rule is fine, but the logic used is horrible. Instead of pointing out how obviously screwed up the patent system is, we see this: A special case exception based on an opinion, which is most obviously not law and can not be translated in to law!

I kind of see it the other way around; the logic of "Samsung's device is sufficiently different from Apple's device as to not risk customer confusion" is sound, but the way the judge went about positing it ('Aw man, this Samsung thing isn't as hip and cool and trendy as the iPad my GGD got me for Kwanzaa") is a bit 3rd grade.

Re:Horrible Logic (4, Interesting)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593481)

I kind of see it the other way around; the logic of "Samsung's device is sufficiently different from Apple's device as to not risk customer confusion" is sound, but the way the judge went about positing it ('Aw man, this Samsung thing isn't as hip and cool and trendy as the iPad my GGD got me for Kwanzaa") is a bit 3rd grade.

I don't quite understand this... Whilst I agree that pretty much no iDevice is going to be confused with an Android device...

The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,”

Both devices are basically a screen with almost no external buttons, plain black frame around the screen, rectangular... I'm not sure how you can get more simple. The only way I can see the iPad being simpler and more understated than the Tab is because it only has 1 button on the front instead of 4, but whilst this is visually simpler, being usably simpler is debatable (I for one find Android devices easier to use than iDevices precisely because there are these buttons that always do the same thing and are always in the same place - note, this isn't a "foo is better than bar" comment, it is simply pointing out that "less buttons == simpler" is very very debatable.

Once you get to the software itself, on the surface iOS and Android are pretty similar - a matrix of application launcher icons, so I'm not sure you can draw any "foor is simpler than bar" conclusions here either.

The judge found that Samsung’s products were distinctive because they were thinner and had “unusual details” on the back.

Apple seem to think that thinner == cooler, with products such as the MacBook Air, so I'm not sure this comment is going to sit well with them.

On the other hand, I have no idea where the "unusual details" thing came from - the back of both devices looks quite similar, except for the fact that one of them has an apple logo and the other has a samsung logo (i.e. other than the logos, they are pretty plain except for the regulatory info that they both have) Compare: http://blog.actioncreations.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/galaxyTabBack.jpg [actioncreations.com] http://mobodojo.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ipad_back.jpg [mobodojo.com]

So on the whole, these devices are different enough to tell apart (as much as any reasonably plain appliance can be told apart - for example, most TVs look pretty similar to each other but this doesn't seem to end with the TV manufacturers suing each other), but the way the judge has gone about deciding this seems... odd.

Re:Horrible Logic (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593923)

the logic of "Samsung's device is sufficiently different from Apple's device as to not risk customer confusion" is sound, but the way the judge went about positing it ('Aw man, this Samsung thing isn't as hip and cool and trendy as the iPad my GGD got me for Kwanzaa") is a bit 3rd grade.

It was just a way to get Apple to shut up. And why should Apple not be treated as a 3rd grader?

Re:Horrible Logic (4, Insightful)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593263)

The logic is perfect. Apple is defending the coolness of its design as unique and patentable. Judge tossed it right back in Apple's face by saying Samsung's design isn't so cool that it infringes.

Re:Horrible Logic (2)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593281)

I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description ["hard-core pornography"]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it [wikipedia.org] , and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.

--Justice Potter Stewart, concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio 378 U.S. 184 (1964), regarding possible obscenity in The Lovers.

Re:Horrible Logic (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593917)

AFAIK, "hard-core pornography" is rather straight forward extension of "pornography" which does have a very fixed definition. Comparing that to "cool", which has numerous definitions and slang variations is not a fair comparison. It's kind of like saying "Poodles are to Dogs what Fruit is to Everything".

I get the point you are making, but don't agree it's a fair comparison. More simply: Law is always a matter of opinion. The opinion however must be clearly defined and regarding clearly defined subject matter. This is why we use so much case law today, it prevents having to re-define things over and over.

Re:Horrible Logic (3, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593393)

A judge's decision is not "law". It may serve as precedent, depending, but it is not law. Rather, it is an interpretation (a judgment, hence the term, "judge") of how the law applies or does not apply in this specific case. Since Apple was suing over a design similarity, it is perfectly logical to say the design isn't similar because it isn't as "cool." The judge can't really say "the patent system, which was enacted by the legislature and over which I have no power, is stupid, so I'm going to ignore the law and make up my own!" A judge's job is not to make law, it is to interpret it. They can comment on how stupid they think the law is, directly or indirectly (and in fact this judge may have been doing that subtly), and they can decide if a law breaks other, higher laws, but they cannot make law directly.

Re:Horrible Logic (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593953)

A judge's decision is not "law". It may serve as precedent, depending, but it is not law.

Wrrrrrrrrronnnnnnnnnggg. The core concept of common law seems to escaped you.

Re:Horrible Logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593421)

Can we assume from the wording that making cool devices is an infringement on Apple's designs? "Dude, your device is cool, with understated and extreme simplicity in its design. You're totally stealing Apple's shtick!"

How can a company even have a trademark on understatement and simplicity? You might as well sue people for using the cover art of the White Album.

Re:Horrible Logic (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593477)

Maybe this is a worst case scenario. Now, Apple can threaten Samsung for every improvement that makes it "cooler", because they might make it "cool enough". "Dang, that's a cool font; better not use it on your tablet or we'll sue you!"

Actually, I don't agree with you that the rule is fine. The judge didn't legally define cool, but he used it as the basis of his ruling. Read another way, he said "you must be |<---this cool--->| to be infringing." But how cool is that? Is the scale linear, does it have steps from "rad" to "lame", or is it Boolean? Is it a series of comparisons, like hot or not? Who assigns them? Judges? Voters? MPs? MTV text-in-polls? What is cool measured in? microjamesdeans? jasonstathams? decamileycyruses? anti-BTUs? milliiPads?

Re:Horrible Logic (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594019)

See, that's the beauty of it. The judge doesn't have to define cool, Apple does. Apple is in court claiming their devices are indistinguishable from Samsung's, at the same time as going on TV claiming there's no comparison. Busted.

Re:Horrible Logic (2)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593517)

True: This doesn't address the stupidity of the patent system in this case. Judges try not to legislate from the bench if at all possible and perhaps it's not even permitted in the UK. (I don't know) But it does simply say "these two cannot be mistaken for each other. you have no case." And after all, it is the "they made a nearly identical device and therefore they infringe" claim this suit is over. The judge doesn't see it and rules against Apple. Done and done.

Excellent Logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593521)

The rule is fine, but the logic used is horrible.

No, the logic is excellent. You think it's bad logic because the judge is using it to make a silly argument. Sure, it's a silly argument but the logic is fine, because the logic isn't there for the purpose of supporting a good argument. It's designed to be a "straight man" line and set up a certain funny response, which it does well. Given the purpose of the statement, the logic is sound.

Judge: "Samsung's tablet isn't as cool as Apple's."

Apple: "Yes it is!"

It's like a variation on the old "They said you weren't fit to sleep with the pigs, but I stuck up for you and said you were" joke. I realize serious money and freedom are on the line here, but maybe just this once it's for the best that all that stuff takes a back seat to comedic concerns. I mean, let's think about what's really important to us all.

Re:Horrible Logic (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593677)

Sign. RTFA:

"The judge found that Samsungâ(TM)s products were distinctive because they were thinner and had âoeunusual detailsâ on the back."

The 'cool' bit was just a throwaway opinion he expressed in summing up, not the basis of the ruling.

Flattery, will get U 9 2 life. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593119)

Ow! Talk about a back-handed compliment. Think not being cool will hurt sales?

Re:Flattery, will get U 9 2 life. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593189)

Probably. Looking cool at Starbucks in front of the other hipsters is an important thing to many purchasers of tablets.

Re:Flattery, will get U 9 2 life. (1)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593277)

If it's hipsters you're after, this should augment sales. They're in to Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is definitely the "not cool" of beers especially since Schlitz is gone...

"PFFFF" (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593123)

"The iPad is not as HIP! Maaaan"

Re:"PFFFF" (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593291)

pfft. I still use an original Newton.

That's almost worth losing the judgement (4, Insightful)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593147)

Come'on when was the last time you've ever heard the words "not as cool" coming from a bunch of silly looking serious magistrates (with those funky white hairpieces).

It's a funny image.

Re:That's almost worth losing the judgement (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593761)

Come'on when was the last time you've ever heard the words "not as cool" coming from a bunch of silly looking serious magistrates (with those funky white hairpieces).

It's a funny image.

Now imagine the necessary wig ("We like dressing up, yes.") and it suddenly starts to make sense.

Re:That's almost worth losing the judgement (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593789)

Oh, just kill me. :/ In my timezone, I'm all but asleep and tend to miss some words right now. (Good night.)

Re:That's almost worth losing the judgement (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594035)

It's doubtful the judge meant it in a complimentary way.

The usual question: (5, Insightful)

bradley13 (1118935) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593165)

If you want a device that has no controls except the touch screen itself, you are going to wind up with a screen surrounded by a narrow frame. The only choice is color, and black has been a safe bet as a trendy color for decades.

So the usual question: what else should a tablet look like?

Design patents aren't.

Re:The usual question: (0)

nightfell (2480334) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593299)

There are plenty of examples which do not so closely resemble the iPad that not even Samsung's own lawyers could tell the difference in court.

FROM 10 FEET AWAY! (3, Insightful)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593429)

Who uses a tablet from ten feet away?

Re:The usual question: (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593449)

There are plenty of examples which do not so closely resemble the iPad that not even Samsung's own lawyers could tell the difference in court.

Don't confuse the incompetence of a lawyer with actual similarities between the products. It's impossible to mistake a Galaxy for an iPad. And I don't mean because the iPad is "cooler"...they're not even the same size, nor do they have the same aspect ratio.

Re:The usual question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593751)

No. In fact HELL NO.

I recently had out CIO bring me an iPad that had been donated. Now, he's a mac guy and owns his own iPad too boot. The device he brought me wasn't an iPad. It was an aPad (google it). This was a device he handled, next to his own iPad. It was smaller and was running android, but as still so similar that his mistook it for an older iPad.

When he brought it to me knew something was up because of the size, but I actually had to spend about 20 minutes googling to figure out what the hell the device I had was. I can unequivocally see consumers confused by this, and the general trend of 'copy the iPad as much as you legally can, and possibly more.' It is honestly no surprise that the lawyer couldn't identify them from 10' away.

This isn't to say that there is a lot of choice when designed the physical face of a table that is essentially just a touch screen, but these are extremely similar products, especially for the non-technical savvy consumer which describes probably 80% or more of them. Don't come off as 'any could tell the difference.

Re:The usual question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593969)

Incompetence of a lawyer... whose job was specifically to prove that the devices aren't a carbon copy of the competition.

You can dismiss that with a fart noise if you like, but you really cannot act like Samsung is some podunk company who just called some lawyer they saw on a tv commercial.

Re:The usual question: (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593489)

Samsung's own lawyers were idiots. From a distance, the only distinguishing feature of the face of a tablet when it is off is the aspect ratio or gross size, and the lawyers clearly didn't realize that the Samsung has a longer aspect ratio.

Here's a question: if rounded corners is a unique design feature, is the radius defined as an absolute number or a ratio of one of the sides? Wo what accuracy is the radius "within the patent?" If a sharp cornered tablet were given a patent for design, would then there only be two licence holders for all tablets in the world - round (Apple) and angular (say, Motorola) - for the next 20+ years?

To compare, it is nearly impossible to distinguish smart phones of similar size and color from a distance. Apple's signature "band" of metal is one of the few things that stands out on all-screen phones. Sure, they all have their small differences, but they are - like tablets - rectangles with eased corners. A good lawyer would have pointed out that fact, not fallen for the trap.

Re:The usual question: (0)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594071)

I own both and, no, that ratio isn't that significant when you're, say, walking over to the desk and reaching for it. On several occasions I've reached for one when meaning to grab the other. This has not been the case with my HP Touchpad.

The big differentiater between the two is that the Tab doesn't have the home button on the front. They really are strikingly similar.

Re:The usual question: (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594077)

Apple's signature "band" of metal is one of the few things that stands out on all-screen phones.

They should keep that, and keep selling bumpers to make it work. It's a kind of marker for Apple product lovers, roughly equivalent to hanging fuzzy dice on the rear view mirror.

Re:The usual question: (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593579)

Maybe, but there's only so many changes you can make to the design of a touch screen with a narrow border. Unlike something more complex, like a car, it's very reasonable that a few dozen design monkeys working independently will come up with almost identical looking tablets. At some point making changes to the design just so they don't look like other tablets already on the market will start to diminish usability.

Re:The usual question: (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593727)

Could you tell the difference between a 2001 Space Odyssey tablet [youtube.com] and an iPad from 10 feet away? Seriously, one device has "iPad" written on it and a picture of an apple, the other has "Samsung" written on it. It's not rocket science to tell them apart.

And for that matter, why are tablets getting so much attention? Could you tell the difference between a Sony digital camera and a Panasonic from 10 feet away? How about a Sony TV versus Toshiba? Or a Honda car versus a Subaru? They just look the same, right?

Re:The usual question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593873)

What else should they look like? Go to Best Buy and look at the table ajdacent to the Apple section where you'll find thirty answers to that question.

Re:The usual question: (1)

MikeMo (521697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594045)

I dunno. Maybe. Here is a nice shot [osxdaily.com] of what "tablets" looked like before and after the iPad. Looks to me like no one thought of the simple, rounded-corner, black slate before the iPad. Maybe the idea to have a "device that has no controls except the touch screen itself" was the new idea.

Maybe not as cool... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593167)

but they are cool enough.

It would be interesting to get one, but not by paying UK prices.

Catch-22 (4, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593187)

Samsung’s Galaxy line of tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Judge Birss said according to Bloomberg. “They are not as cool.”

Apple has 21 days to appeal the judge’s ruling.

So, when Apple inevitably appeals the decision, can we take that as a de facto statement that they do not, in fact, find their own products to be "cool" or posses "understated and extreme simplicity" in their designs?

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593223)

So, when Apple inevitably appeals the decision, can we take that as a de facto statement that they do not, in fact, find their own products to be "cool" or posses "understated and extreme simplicity" in their designs?

They could always argue that the Galaxy Tablet really is as cool as an iPad, but I'm not sure that's any better.

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593231)

Samsung’s Galaxy line of tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Judge Birss said according to Bloomberg. “They are not as cool.”

Apple has 21 days to appeal the judge’s ruling.

So, when Apple inevitably appeals the decision, can we take that as a de facto statement that they do not, in fact, find their own products to be "cool" or posses "understated and extreme simplicity" in their designs?

...huh. And here I thought the judge was being a blatantly paid-off Apple fanboy in this case. He was actually setting them into a trap the whole time. Well-played, Colin Birss. Well-played.

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593381)

Indeed the judge seems to be a masterful troll. He seems to be dissing Samsung while ruling in favor of it, and for Apple to appeal means they would have to argue against the unique aesthetic qualities of their own products. This whole thing seems designed to either A) punish Apple for using their frivolous patent, or B) highlighting the ridiculousness of such patents as a cry for reform.

10/10

Re:Catch-22 (4, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593405)

There's an old joke in the writing community about how if you're going to write a (real) man into a book as a character and are afraid that he might sue for libel, write him in with a tiny penis [wikipedia.org] . Because the men who would sue and claim, "yes, your honor, I'm the guy with the tiny penis in this book" are few and far between.

Michael Crichton kind of went overboard with this one [talkingpointsmemo.com] , though.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

ZenDragon (1205104) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593909)

Totally off topic, but I was just reading that article about Michael Crichton... I found it strangely amusing that Crowley found it "worse" that he might be branded as a pharma profiteer, rather than a child rapist. O_o

Re:Catch-22 (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593759)

Or they could simply argue that he focused only on that one issue to the exclusion of the others, thus disregarding more important considerations. It's not exactly hard for them to reaffirm their belief that their devices are cooler while still insisting that infringement took place and that the infringement is happening regardless of the coolness.

And in related news (5, Funny)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593197)

News sources report a mad rush of hipsters trying to buy a Galaxy Tab before it becomes cool.

Re:And in related news (1)

Kyont (145761) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594031)

Q: How many hipsters does it take to change a light bulb?
A: What... you don't know?

Apple is good for graphics (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593233)

There are those who still insist Apples are inherently better for graphics, which really isn't true anymore.

I loved the concept of Android, but used an iPhone for the past 3 years. Android has really come a long way in that time. It should be noted that most iOS 5 features existed in Android first. The notion that Android isn't as cool, slick or intuitive as iOS was once true, but no longer is.

I made the switch to a Galaxy S III and it actually exceeded my expectations. The OS is very intuitive, slick and looks really good. The surprising thing is I think the typography is better, which is an area where Apple normally excels. Roboto is just a great looking scalable font.

I find great features every day that I didn't even know about. For example, I set an alarm on my phone to take a nap. It slowly woke me up with soft music like a zen alarm clock.

Re:Apple is good for graphics (3, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593397)

Not sure why you were modded down but one of the most striking differences between my Xoom running ICS and my iPad is the superior fonts on the Xoom. They just look clearer and I don't think that can fully be explained by the superior display resolution.

Re:Apple is good for graphics (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593949)

Directly comparing iOS and Android features is off-topic in a thread about iOS and Android?

There is no -1 disagree.

Too much Regular Show.. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593243)

See the "Cool Bikes" episode... he thinks he's the judge of Galactic Cool Court...

An android user... (1)

AtomicAdam (959649) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593275)

As someone who hopes that the fragmented android market can compete with apple's patent war...

We'll take this victory.. a sour victory... but we'll take it.

Besides, I like other formats besides mp4.

Prior Art (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593287)

Now the judge should go for the jugular and rule that Apple can't ever sue anybody again because of form based on the 'coolness factor'. The judge should cite Fonzie as prior art.

Re:Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40594057)

Nonsense, Apple is a successful productive private company, and as such are never the problem. The problem is always the government. The judge should declare ALL copyright and patent laws bogus and that NOBODY should every again sue anybody else over it.

Who are you and what have you done to the real roman_mir?

So... (1)

oakgrove (845019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593295)

...I'm not sure if the judge should be moderated +1,000,000 Funny of -1,000,000 Flamebait. Either way, this oughta be good.

Stop it already (0)

Haawkeye (2680377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593309)

I wish apple would get on with innovating and stop all this nonsense.

Re:Stop it already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593473)

I wish apple would get on with innovating and stop all this nonsense.

Fortunately it's been shown that Apple, unlike many other companies, can do many things at once.

Re:Stop it already (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#40594083)

Of course, it's never been shown that "innovating" a successful product has ever been one of those things.

Prior Art (0)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593357)

How about taking the rounded corners option or rounded rectangle. Anyone can easily draw a rounded rectangle in a drawing app for the last, what, 15 years? Apple is blowing smoke out their asses.

Regular Show, anyone? (1)

vprasad (533778) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593379)

Imagining a judge almost like the one in the Regular Show episode "Cool Bikes"

Simplicity? Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593427)

Go to any Apple store, and you'll find that it is full of people talking to the so-called Geniuses.

While it's nice that Apple has the so-called Geniuses, the fact that they exist, and are always busy, strongly indicates that the notion that Apple products are intuitive and easy to use is false.

I remember back when my boss's wife got an iphone. She couldn't figure out how to use it, and I had to spend an hour with her showing her how to use it.

Re:Simplicity? Hah! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593967)

My best friend's 2 year old daughter, on her own, figured out how to turn on his iPhone and get to the funny photo of her and pets and whatnot she likes. I'd say the problem lies more with your boss's wife.

Ornamental design (1)

jeti (105266) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593441)

At least according to Wikipedia, a design patent covers the ornamental aspects of a design and not the functional ones. I wonder which parts of apples iPad design are purely ornamental. Is there anything I can take away from the design without sacrificing functionality?

Or is either the Wikipedia entry or my understanding of the English language incorrect?

Design right? (4, Insightful)

phriedom (561200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593451)

So Apple has the rights to "cool." Is that patent, trademark, or copyright? Or does the UK has some other category where a "registered design" means something important?

Read the whole decision (5, Informative)

jbernardo (1014507) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593487)

""Samsung had requested this voluntary trial in September 2011, in order to oppose Apple's ongoing efforts to reduce consumer choice and innovation in the tablet market through their excessive legal claims and arguments. Apple has insisted that the three Samsung tablet products infringe several features of Apple's design right, such as 'slightly rounded corners,' 'a flat transparent surface without any ornamentation,' and 'a thin profile.' "However, the High Court dismissed Apple's arguments by referring to approximately 50 examples of prior art, or designs that were previously created or patented, from before 2004. These include the Knight Ridder (1994), the Ozolin (2004), and HP's TC1000 (2003). The court found numerous Apple design features to lack originality, and numerous identical design features to have been visible in a wide range of earlier tablet designs from before 2004."

They might be cool (after all, the target market values form over function) but they aren't original!

Wow!!! (2)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593533)

That IPad they show in TFA is SO COOL!!

Cool enough ? No, it's not HOT enough... (2)

squash_me_quickly (663285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593571)

As the Galaxy Tab can't double as a hand/lap warmer it's obviously completely unrelated product, aimed at a different demographic.

Good decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593587)

Luckily I stopped using Apple products when they became evil. I don't need any tablet, but if I were to buy one, it would be a Samsung Galaxy. Why? Because I switched from Mac to Linux a few years ago and can write programs for Android on my computer without having to buy an insanely expensive Apple laptop with eye-hurting glare screen first.

Re:Good decision (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593915)

There! Right there. Did you all feel it? The word "evil" was finally devalued to absolute zero.

Cue rage from Samsung fanbois (0)

Trashcan Romeo (2675341) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593615)

Oh, right... There's no such thing as a Samsung fanboi.

new headline (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593679)

I think the headline should have been "Placing Apple fanboy judge in case backfires on Apple" :-P

For maximum trolling... (1)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593681)

Judge says that only simple people use Apple products. Anything more than one button at a time confuses them.

What? I said I was trolling...

That's awsome... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593701)

In the UK, 13 year old boys can serve as judges! In a short few hundred years, children have made tremendous strides, whereas it used to be they could only work in coal-mines and factories doing menial labor, bringing water or towels to the men, etc., now they can be judges...

If the judge is not a 13 year old boy, this ruling shows he has the mentality of one. I'll agree with the general point, that no one is going to confuse the Apple iFad with the Galaxy Tab, but because one is "cool" or "hip" and the other is not so much is NOT why you can't confuse them, and the truth is some people will, but with products being found infringing on another's IP or trademark, etc. or not depending on customers ability to differentiate one product for another, then Samsung could make an EXACT copy of the device, and get away with it. All they'd have to do is write "Samsung Galaxy Tab, NOT an iPad" on the front and back, or perhaps have a logo of an apple with a bite missing out of it, on the back, surrounded by a large red circle, with a red diagonal line through the apple icon in the center, reminding anyone it is NOT an Apple product. Despite the functionality of this hypothetical anti-apple device, let's say exactly replicating the interface and features of the Apple product, but because it is clearly not one, (because of the logo on the back and the writing on the front, in one corner or another) it is okay.

So if I print a series of books about a teenage wizard named Barry Sotter, going to a school called Mogtorts for young wizards and witches, I can get away with that in the UK, even if the books are almost verbatim copies of a certain OTHER series of books, with only names changed so that no one can confuse the two series of books, despite every other aspect and facet being the same? I don't mean a parody, I mean the SAME EXACT STORY. Going by how this judge ruled, my first book may be called "Barry Sotter and the Thinker's Rock", and I won't be accused of infringement. Even if "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" sells in the UK for say £4.68, and I price mine at £2.34, and am telling the EXACT SAME STORY... I would do just fine. I may have to do this, then, because otherwise I'm just leaving money I could be making on the table.

I get the feeling this ruling won't stand, for just this reason. Perhaps Apple should print up a few hundred copies of Barry Sotter's stories, and give them to the judges, etc., and let them know they're going to start publishing these in the UK, undercutting Rowlings, since they don't have to pay for the IP, since as long as the copy is "less cool" than the original, it doesn't infringe.

Pfft! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593835)

Never thought I'd see Slashdot seriously link to an Onion article and- what? Really?

Meanwhile in reality.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40593843)

...the President was totally being more cooler than faggy Apple by shooting two machine guns free-hand into the ceiling of Da House of Reprezentin'

Even if they were identical... (0)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593891)

When you buy Kleenex or Band-Aids, or Scotch Tape, I think you are aware that you are not getting those brands if you just buy tissue, bandages or cellophane tape.

In this case, even if the two devices were identical, what would it matter? Confusing the product you see in use would be free advertizing for Apple, would it not? I mean, when YOU went out to buy a tablet to be cool, you would go shopping for one of those "iPad" things, right?

There should only be a legal case if a competing tablet's PACKAGING were deceptive. Buying a table is not like picking an apple off a pile of fruit (no pun intended). Nobody is going to "accidentally" purchase a "SAMSUNG GALAXY TAB" when they meant to get an "Apple iPad". Even monkey's can tell the difference in those groups of letters.

what does he know about tech ? (1)

Aditya88 (1941500) | more than 2 years ago | (#40593981)

What da faq guys. what does these law people know about tech except fking patent laws. He's not related to this field, he may be super,intelligent cool and all but not in tech field. Any way half good for Samsung.

what REALLY happened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40594051)

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/46416/samsung-statement-apple-court-ruling-britain

I take it the fanbois had to all rally together to play down the whole prior art thing;

shill A: oh god apple got bitch slapped with 'unoriginality' and prior art!

shill B: meh, just write that the judge said the Galaxy tab wasn't cool enough and theyll lap it up like the bitches they are.

Now Microsoft are indestructable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40594093)

If the "not cool" legal argument holds up, they can break any patents they like.

"Your honor, it might look like we've broken thousands of valid patents, but come on - this tablet is clearly a piece of shit!"

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