Apple loses Dutch court case against Samsung

by: Nate SwannerMay 31, 2013

ipad vs galaxy tab 10.1

Samsung has been dealt an impressive win in the Dutch Supreme Court, where their Galaxy tab 10.1 was deemed to not have infringed on the iPad design. This follows another win for Samsung, as The Hague ruled in their favor earlier this year, regarding several tablet lawsuits brought forth last fall by Apple.

In regard to the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Apple claims Samsung infringed on what the European Union calls “community design”. A special designation under European intellectual property laws, community design is meant to thwart others from copying your design, i.e. copycat clothing. Meant to give lawmakers the right to shut down vendors who sell bootleg Nike shoes, Apple was unsuccessful in their attempt to use the law to block the sale of Galaxy Tabs in Sweden.

According to OHIM, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (trademarks and design), community design is “An RCD is an exclusive right for the outward appearance of a product or part of it, resulting from the features (in particular, the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture and/or materials) of the product itself and/or its ornamentation.” While that may sound pretty cut and dry, it’s not. The Supreme Court in the Netherlands notes that Apple has a valid claim, but the protection offered is limited. The Hague ruled that Samsung tablets were easily distinguishable to the informed user, which the Supreme Court agreed with.

Interestingly enough, community design laws are the same throughout the European Union. While the Netherlands is a relatively small market for both vendors, this ruling sets a precedent for other European cases, pending or forthcoming. Apple will have to do better than to sport fish for Samsung and their devices.

  • Nathaniel James

    How in any way does this look like the iPad?…

    • Black bezel. Literally that is it. The corners are more rounded and the shape is significantly different.

    • On a Clear Day

      It is not about whether or not it looks like the iPad. It is about Apple doing everything it can with its boatload of money to try to shut others out of the market – for no good reason – other than to curtail competition and limit people from having freedom of choice.

      They know very well that their claims are pure, unadulterated B. S., but don’t care. In the end, the world is going get sick of them and their nasty “us against the world; poor us the creative child being picked on by the jealous bullies who steal all “our” inventions – like the rectangle with rounded edges. If it wasn’t so malevolent in its intent and attempted effect it and Apple would be a total joke.

  • PuzzledObserver

    Any mention of Apple paying the legal fees of the ‘victim’ when Apple loses the case?

  • Rishank

    Apple doesn’t realize by doing this they are actually telling everyone that Samsung is as good as Apple


      Nobody even knows about this stuff. Although if they did samsung would be seen as the cheap copycat

      • Anthony Walker

        If you put a Samsung phone and iPhone in front of someone and claim Samsung copied Apple they’d laugh in your face. What Apple is doing and what Samsung is doing is miles apart. You would have to be blind to confuse the two.

      • Rishank

        If no one knows the Apple is telling them that there is something as good as us and we are suing them because we can..Because the notification bar etc were not stolen from android at all :P

        • Simon Craddock

          It’s time the courts woke up to Apples tactics. Its blatantly obvious they fear Samsung devices as they don’t really seem to be challenging any other device maker. Surely this litigation tactic to try ban Samsung devices everywhere they possibly can breaks some anti competitive law if there is such a thing?

  • Cornstarch

    The Asian suppliers for display, camera and memory will squeeze this bastard greedy fruit company for more money for critical components, this will force them to use 2 year old technology because having the latest tech will raise the price of their Iphad and Iphony to well over $1,000 or more. It has already happening. HTC will never forget and forgive Apple’s lawsuit against HTC to extort money from HTC

    • On a Clear Day

      Good idea Cornstarch. Since Apple doesn’t manufacturer anything really – except convoluted, ensnaring marketing schemes and “ecosystems” designed so meticulously that once you are caught in them “resistance is futile”, it will mean that it will make the cost of entering to begin with even higher than the ridiculous long range cost of being caught in their snare.

    • gommer strike

      why would they do that? what do you know about how apple’s agreements work with suppliers? You know that Apple locks in their suppliers at X price for Y period of time, right?

      No matter what you might think, Asia isn’t anti-Apple. In fact if you as a supplier can’t fulfill Apple’s request for this or that part, they’ll just go to the next supplier who can. It’s not personal, it’s business.

      For if it was truly so anti-apple as you suggest, then why is Foxconn still assembling iOS devices(along with Dell, HP, and just about any vendor you can think of)?

      • Cornstarch

        we are not talking about assembly, it’s critical components and there are only four to five company that can make them in quality and quantity. All of them have their own smartphone to take care first. Why is Apple choosing Pegatron to assemble the Iphone, maybe they are cheaper but don’t have the experience quite like FoxConn

        • On a Clear Day

          Asia will never be anti-Apple unless it becomes anti-money!

          Especially the Communist Chinese; what is funny – and of course just one of an almost limitless number of examples that could be given that reflect the Communist hypocrisy (and depravity) of their system – is that they don’t really care how they make money – by violating copyrights, setting up phony Apple stores, using trade barriers to make competing in their country difficult if not impossible; with a totalitarian state like Communist China it is ALL about the money – and getting their hands on the creative, intellectual properties of others who have done the hard work of creating.

          This is why they choose to steal American trade secrets and military tech; they are too lazy to work at creating something new of value, but happy to steal and/or copy others.

          Of course, this also speaks to the fact that their society is basically – and has been for a long time – caught in a creativity death spiral making it almost impossible for them to produce anything more than worker bees.

          Namely, that you can’t have it both ways. You cannot have a culture that punishes by imprisonment and even harsher dictatorial measures – like killing people – if they step out of line and refuse to proudly and loudly endorse the party line (Look at the young guy who is not rotting away in prison for 12 years because he was foolish enough to just suggest on a blog THREE TIMES – obviously a violent revolutionary that the great evil empire of China must fear – that China should “consider” democratic reforms.

          You can’t have a culture that punishes free thinking (from whence creativity springs) and expect to have creative geniuses in the forefront of scientific advances. The best you will normally – and yes I’m sure there are a few exceptions besides the ones from the distant past when the Chinese invented oil drilling, gun powder etc – the best you would normally get are very efficient individuals who are good at refining and expanding on a new technology but would find it impossible to create one.

          This is why China, thank God, in the end will fail and fall – it will just take a while; you can’t suppress freedom, the life force of individuality indefinitely without ultimately a huge explosion taking place.

          So, no, Apple being strictly business and happy to do deals with whomever they need to and able to pay with their 84 Billion dollars will find no shortage of takers to do their bidding.

  • SContrerasMer

    ¿como afecta esto a Boca?

  • Imtiaz Khan

    apple is best

    • Koko

      Best in what?

      • On a Clear Day

        You read my mind Koko! sms

  • This is how business works today. If you got money people will sue.