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Apple told to publicise legal defeat in ads

In a humiliating ruling for Apple, the technology giant has been told to run ads admitting that Samsung’s design for its Galaxy tablet did not copy the iPad. The ads would be published in print media and displayed on its website.

Apple has been ordered to buy advertisements in several newspapers including the Daily Mail, the Guardian and the Financial Times drawing readers’ attention to the UK High Court ruling.

Judge Colin Birss issued the order in a follow-up to his initial ruling that Samsung had not infringed Apple’s iPad patents. In language that was not typically judicial, the judge had said that Apple’s iPad was "cool" but Samsung's "are not as cool" although they were "very, very similar". Apple executives might wonder if they are allowed to use those comments in future marketing campaigns.

Apple had greeted that ruling with a statement that said: "This kind of blatant copying is wrong and, as we've said many times before, we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas." In the light of that reaction, it seems that the judge wanted Apple to make it clear that the ruling had gone against them.

Their aggressive case against Samsung failed, and Apple now has to acknowledge the existence of its competitor in the advertisements. Samsung welcomed what amounted to a permission to compete against the American market leader. Their statement read: "Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited."

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