A UK judge in the High Court of Justice's Chancery Division today ruled that Samsung's Galaxy Tab does not infringe upon the design of Apple's iPad because Samsung's tablet isn't well-designed enough to be confused with Apple's product. In the ruling, UK Judge Colin Biriss said that Galaxy Tab models "do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design," concluding with the rather subjective claim that "they are not as cool." The court did find that there were major similarities in the design, noting that "the view from the front is really very striking. The Galaxy tablets are not identical to the Apple design but they are very, very similar in this respect." However, differences in the styling of the backs of the tablets and "the thinness of the Galaxy tablets" was apparently enough to overcome that front-facing similarity.
Regardless of the dig on Samsung's design sensibilities, the company has to be pleased with the ruling — according to Bloomberg, Samsung offered the following statement following its victory: "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." This victory is rather timely for Samsung — just last week, Apple won a preliminary injunction to prevent the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in the US. Overall, the UK courts haven't been quite as kind to Apple lately — the same UK High Court ruled last week that three of Apple's patent claims were invalid, bolstering HTC's defense against the company.