Dutch court cites British ruling as EU precedent in latest patent trial
A Dutch court has ruled that three Samsung Galaxy tablets do not copy the design of Apple’s market-leading iPad, in the latest leg of the seemingly never ending Apple Samsung patent war.
The Hague District Court said that the rounded corners of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 did not infringe on Apple’s design rights, citing a previous decision made in the UK as a precedent for the EU.
In July 2012, Samsung was handed a slightly insulting boost by a UK judge who ruled that the design of its Galaxy Tab 10.1 could not possibly be confused with that of the Apple iPad because it isn’t “cool” enough.
Apple Samsung patent war
Judge Colin Birss said that the Galaxy Tab lacked the same “understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. Apple ordered to publish an acknowledgement of the decision on its website and several national newspapers to resolve any confusion caused by its litigation.
“What’s absolutely key to understand the logic of the decision is that we’re not talking about a case in which a foreign court’s decision would have had merely persuasive impact,” said analyst Florian Mueller. “The UK decision was deemed dispositive of the issue on an EU-wide basis, including the Netherlands, which is another EU member state. It would have taken some exceptional circumstances for the Dutch court to disagree with the UK court.”
Apple and Samsung are currently involved in patent disputes in 12 different countries, with the most high profile so far ending in an order for Samsung to pay Apple more than £600 million in damages for infringing Apple’s patents in its tablets and smartphones. The two parties are set to go to court again in March 2014 for another major trial.
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