Dutch Supreme Court: Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not infringe on iPad design

Apple's design right is valid, but the protection it offers is very limited due to earlier similar designs, the court said.

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not infringe on Apple's iPad design right, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands ruled on Friday.

According to Apple, Samsung infringed on the registration of a so-called community design, a form of intellectual property right available in the E.U. that allows businesses to prevent others from copying the outward appearance of their products. The design Apple registered in 2004 shows a rudimentary version of the iPad.

Apple has attempted to get sales of Samsung's Tab 10.1 banned in the Netherlands and the E.U., but lost two rulings in the Netherlands at lower courts in earlier stages of the litigation.

Apple disagreed with the courts' decisions and decided to appeal the case with the Dutch Supreme court. "The Supreme Court today dismissed the appeal," the court stated on its website.

However, the court ruled that Apple's design right has a limited character because the elements used in the design all occur in similar devices manufactured and sold by other companies, and this limits the scope of the design right.

Apple's design right is valid, but the protection it offers is very limited due to earlier similar designs, also known as prior art, the Supreme Court said in the verdict.

Samsung's tablets differ in such a way from Apple's designs that the differences stand out to the informed user, the Higher Court of The Hague ruled in January. "The Supreme court has agreed to this," the court said on Friday.

"Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners," said Samsung spokeswoman Anne ter Braak in an emailed statement, welcoming the decision. "No company should have a monopoly on general designs," Samsung stated, adding that allowing this limits progress and innovation in the industry.

Apple spokesman Alan Hely declined to comment.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPadtabletsApplelegalhardware systemsintellectual propertypatentAndroid tabletsSamsung Electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?