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As noted in many recent news stories, Apple has now included a link on their UK website to a page explaining the outcome of their recent Court of Appeal decision in the UK. The link on their front page has been located in such a way as to provide a sort of “Where’s Wally?” experience when you try and find it.
Clicking on the link takes you to a page completely devoid of Apple branding. There are six paragraphs of text on this page, paragraphs 1 and 5 being the text specified by the judge in the UK court case. Paragraphs, 2, 3, 4 and 6 have been added by Apple. When I look at the page, I can’t help seeing it like this:
In the recently decided Samsung versus Apple case in the UK Court of Appeal, the court confirmed that Samsung did not infringe Apple’s registered Community Design No. 000181607-0001.
At paragraph 54 of the decision, Sir Robin Jacob stated: “If the registered design has a scope as wide as Apple contends it would foreclose much of the market for tablet computers. Alterations in thickness, curvature of the sides, embellishment and so on would not escape its grasp. Legitimate competition by different designs would be stifled”.
In light of the above and the decision as a whole it would appear the UK courts are going to give design registrations a fairly narrow scope.