Dutch Court Rules Samsung Did Not Copy iPad Design

Posted by at 1:40 pm on May 31, 2013

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.

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