Apple’s recent defeat in court against Samsung has escalated from devastating to humiliating as Judge Colin Birss ruled that the company must run adverts stating that Samsung did not copy the iPad. Following the 9th of July Birss ruling that Samsung had not copied Apple’s patents because, despite similarities, the former was ‘not as cool’, the judgement will come as a massive blow to a company that so highly treasure their exclusivity.
Apple released a statement saying: "It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad. This kind of blatant copying is wrong and… we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas." Samsung feel that this caused them commercial harm and as a result of the whole messy business, Apple was swiftly slapped with the ad order. The advert will have to be published on Apple’s website for six months, as well as printed in major newspapers such as The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Financial Times. Essentially, this will mean Apple giving a rival technology company publicity for an extended period of time.
There are a lot of people in the world who will welcome the ruling and see it as a way blowing a huge whole in what they see as Apple’s sense of superiority and technological dictatorship. They may regularly have thousands queuing up to get their hands on the latest upgrade, but there are plenty of Apple-haters out there too. You know the type – they view it as over-priced fodder for hipsters who bow at the altar of their fallen god, Steve Jobs. Samsung shared pretty much the same sentiment in a statement of their own, saying: “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.”
And they sort of have a point. Yes, it’s frustrating to see the fruits of your hard labour replicated or interpreted in other people’s work but Apple, who are currently working on also suing Google and HTC, can’t hold a grudge against every company whose products bear a passing resemblance to their own. It’s important that rival products aren’t stifled or muscled out of the market so that consumers can still benefit from an element of choice. Technology moves on and it moves fast, and if companies don’t keep up with what’s popular and in-demand they get left behind (RIP Motorola). So Samsung survives to fight another day, and Apple is forced to swallow a bitter pill. But upholding Samsung’s credibility doesn’t mean Apple’s is in any way damaged - maybe they’ll learn to share nicely?
Angie Moneke (@angiejudeLDN)