UK Judge rules Galaxy Tab doesn’t infringe on iPad because it’s “not as cool”

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablet doesn’t infringe on the iPad because it lacks the coolness factor of Apple’s device, Judge Colin Birss wrote in a ruling today in London. Put simply, Samsung’s Galaxy tablets “are not as cool”, and this is the official explanation from court documents. Jony Ive won’t like this…

Kit Chellel, reporting for Bloomberg, quotes Judge’s words:

The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said. “They are not as cool.”

That’s an interesting explanation, if I ever saw one. See, even though the court found the front of Samsung’s device to be “really very striking” to the iPad, obviously the “differences in the styling of the backs of the tablets” and “the thinness of the Galaxy tablets” led the court to rule in Samsung’s favor.

Apple has three weeks to appeal the decision. Samsung issued a statement following the ruling:

Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited.

Court in the UK and Europe aren’t as sensitive to questionable infringement claims as those in the United States. The same UK High Court last week invalidated three of Apple’s four patent claims against Taiwanese handset maker HTC.

Shipments of a bunch of HTC phones were held up at U.S. Customs back in May due to an injunction order. HTC cited sales ban as one of the primary reasons for an astounding 57 drop in quarterly profits.

Last month, Apple was granted a preliminary injunction on the sale of both the Galaxy Nexus smartphone and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the United States. Following Samsung’s appeal, Court of Appeals last week suspended Galaxy Nexus sales ban, but upheld the Galaxy Tab injunction.

This litigation is getting messier with each passing day.

So far, Apple appears to have the upper hand, but the company’s luck in the courtroom could change at any moment.

Is Cupertino playing with fire?