British judge Colin Birss has struck a blow for the rest of the world against Apple’s litigious tendencies towards anyone any everything their lawyers decide has enough money to sue. Apparently, the 9th July ruling (Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited & Anr v. Apple Inc., High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, HC11C03050) requires Apple to put a notice on its UK website and take out advertisements in a large selection of newspapers and magazines stating that Samsung’s Galaxy tables are not a copy of Apple’s iPad, contrary to what Apple has been claiming in court. Apple is, apparently, appealing.
As part of the ruling, the judge said that Samsung’s offering was “not as cool” as an iPad. Although I’m at a loss as to what the legal definition of “cool” might be, it’s clearly relevant in a non-legal sense. iPads are “cool” as far as the fanbois are concerned, and unreliable yuppy status-symbols for the rest of us. If we want a tablet for any reason we’ll base the decision on price and support, not brand image.
So – the judge is telling Apple it must tell the world that the Galaxy isn’t a clone of the iPad. Surely Apple’s problem is potential customers lusting after an iPad but then opting for a cheaper Samsung alternative. That the Galaxy is not the same as a cut-price iPad should be something Apple shouts from the rooftops anyway. All their current rhetoric, that the Galaxy is an iPad clone, is playing into Samsung’s hands.