I know they’re important, and millions or even billions of pounds are at stake, but I can’t help thinking that it’s all getting a bit petty.
With all the claims, counterclaims, sales bans and sales ban appeals, it can be hard to keep up with the who, what and where, let alone the why.
The common denominator in most of these disputes is, of course, Apple. I can understand why – there’s no denying that rival devices do look and feel rather similar to Apple’s products.
But, according to a UK judge at least, the fact that rivals’ products are not as ‘cool’ as Apple’s means that its rivals won’t get a sales ban.
But Judge Colin Birss has ruled that, while the two devices were superficially similar, no one would mistake the two because the Galaxy Tab 10 is not as cool as the iPad. Yes really.
“They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” he said. “They are not as cool. The overall impression produced is different.”
It’s certainly an interesting ruling, albeit a slightly insulting one to Samsung and anyone who owns a Galaxy Tab 10 (which by last count was about 15 people).
Nevertheless, Samsung have welcomed the ruling. In a statement, the South Korean manufacturer said Apple was damaging innovation and by pursuing various legal claims around the world.
Of course, the ruling only applies to the UK. Apple has already managed to secure a ban on the Galaxy Tab in the US, and is busy pushing for others around the world.
Samsung certainly has a point, as some of the patent infringements Apple is claiming are rather generic design concepts. And it’s not as if Apple has been doing too badly in the last couple of years. Can’t they all just get along?