Apple-Samsung ruling forces computer giant to run ads for competitor

South Korea's Samsung won a patent battle Monday against US rival Apple, with a British judge ruling that Samsung's …In one of the most curious rulings yet against Apple, the tech giant has been ordered by a British judge to run "Samsung did not copy iPad" ads on its U.K. website and in British newspapers.

Reuters reports that Judge Colin Birss ruled on July 9 that Samsung's designs were not "as cool" as Apple's iPad, and therefore were not a copy. The advertisements must run for at least six months.

The decision comes out of the case filed by Apple alleging that Samsung infringed on its registered designs. Birss' ruling last week allowed for Samsung to continue selling its Galaxy tablets in U.K. stores, even if it came at the expense of being called not as cool as the competition.

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As a further blow to the Korean company, Samsung's request to forbid Apple from claiming its design rights had been infringed was denied.

"They are entitled to their opinion," said Birss.

Apple has been granted permission to seek an appeal on the July 9 ruling.

If Apple doesn't get its appeal, it will have to run the ads, essentially advertising for a competitor, on apple.co.uk as well as the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine and T3, Bloomberg reports.

One interesting side effect of this court case is the publication of early iPad prototype designs, filed as evidence. The prototype images are from the early 2000s, showing a much thicker device than what we've come to recognize as the iPad today.

You can read the 46-page ruling by Birss here.

(AFP Photo)