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Apple loses U.K. legal fight with Samsung

An employee of South Korean mobile carrier KT holds a Samsung Electronics' Galaxy tablet 10.1, right, and Apple Inc's iPad at a registration desk at KT's headquarters in Seoul, in this August 10, 2011 file photo.

JO YONG-HAK/REUTERS

Apple Inc. has lost a U.K. court battle with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. over whether the South Korean group infringed on the registered design of the iPad.

The High Court in London upheld an earlier and widely-publicized judgment by Judge Colin Birss that Samsung's Galaxy Tabs were "not cool" enough to be mistaken for iPads.

A three-judge panel also ruled that for at least a month, Apple must place a link on the homepage of its website to bring the judgment to the attention of the general public.

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In the written ruling, Judge Robin Jacob said that ordering Apple to publicize its loss in the court was necessary because of the "massive publicity of HHJ Birss's 'not as cool' judgment".

Apple had claimed three models of the Galaxy Tab too closely resembled the registered design of the iPad. But Judge Birss ruled that there were noticeable differences between the tablets in terms of their thickness and the designs on the back.

The ruling is the latest scrap in a global patent battle between Apple and groups such as Samsung and HTC which produce rival tablet computers and mobile phones.

Apple's rivals have in the past accused the US company of using its patents to disrupt sales of their products.

As well as the case in London, Apple and Samsung have in recent years waged court battles over intellectual property rights in The Netherlands, Spain, Germany and the US.

Samsung said: "We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.

"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."

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Apple declined to comment.

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