Apple Inc. (AAPL:US) won’t have to publish a notice telling customers that Samsung Electronics Co. didn’t copy its tablet designs until after an appeal in the intellectual property dispute is heard in October, a U.K. court ruled.
Apple had been ordered on July 18 to put a message on its U.K. website and take out advertisements in British newspapers describing a London court ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy devices didn’t imitate the iPad.
That would have caused Apple “irreparable and disproportionate harm,” said the company’s lawyer Anthony Grabiner today, arguing the order should be delayed pending an appeal. “If you were on the other side you would be jumping around with joy.”
Judge David Kitchin agreed in a ruling today that the company would suffer lasting damage to its image. “It would not be right to condemn Apple to such a fate before it has had a chance to argue its case.”
Apple is fighting patent lawsuits around the globe against competitors including Google Inc., HTC Corp. (2498) and Samsung as it competes for dominance of the smartphone and tablet computer markets. The companies have accused each other of copying designs and technology in their mobile devices. Legal battles about the similarity of Samsung and Apple tablets are being fought in Germany, the Netherlands and the U.S.
The argument that Apple “will suffer some mortal hurt is frankly a nonsense” and the order should stand, Samsung’s lawyer, Robert Howe, said today.
Judge Colin Birss said in a July 9 ruling that Samsung’s tablets were unlikely to be confused with the iPad because they are “not as cool.” They were distinctive enough not to infringe Apple’s registered designs, he said.
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