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British judge: Samsung tablets ‘not as cool’ as iPad, so they don’t infringe

It may not have been the words Samsung wanted to hear, but they got it the outcome it wanted. A British judge ruled Monday that Samsung’s tablets do not infringe on the design of the iPad, the Guardian reported, because, “They are not as cool.”

The judge in the case, the report said, justified his assertion by pointing to the thickness of the tablets and the way they look and feel in the back. The Samsung tablets he said, “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Bloomberg reported.

Even with that ding, Samsung was happy with the ruling, saying that it proves Apple doesn’t have the sole right to “generic” product design.

“Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited,” the Korean company told Bloomberg in an e-mail. Apple has said in the past that Samsung’s designs “blatantly” copy its own and that it simply wants other companies to make their own, original products.

These two rulings mean things are looking up for Samsung, which had a rough couple of weeks with its patent disputes. The company was facing U.S. injunctions on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 and its flagship Android phone, the Galaxy Nexus, because of hardware and software design patents.

U.S. District Court judge Lucy Koh had ruled late last month that the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 infringed on Apple’s U.S. design patents for the iPad and issued a preliminary injunction against the device; she also placed an injunction on the Galaxy Nexus because of a search patent.

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit put a temporary hold on the Nexus ban, FOSS Patents reported. Apple has until July 12 to respond to that motion. Samsung did not, however, win a stay on the injunction against the tablet in the United States.

Apple and Samsung are due to start their trial over several patents in California in about three weeks, patent blogger Florian Mueller reported.

Related stories:

Apple, Samsung, HTC patent cases slog on

Apple wins injunction against Samsung Galaxy Tab

Apple and Proview settle over iPad name

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