But Samsung 's victory does set the bar for competitors to Apple. They're fine as long as they remain clunky!
According to the ruling Judge Colin Birss said that consumers were unlikely to be confused by the Tab and consider it sufficiently alike to the iPad.
In setting the scene for his decision, Judge Biirss made a very telling comment in paragraph 8: "Apple did not contend that either of its famous iPad products should be used as concrete examples of the Apple design. Neither the original iPad nor the iPad 2 are identical to the design. Whether either of them is or is not within the scope of protection would be a matter of debate. To use either as an example of the Apple design would be to beg the question of the true scope of Apple's rights."
This is suggesting that Apple had failed to identify which instance of its tablets it was accusing Samsung of copying - after-all, it couldn't have copied both as they were substantively different.
Further, Judge Birss noted, "This case illustrates the importance of properly taking into account the informed user's knowledge and experience of the design corpus. When I first saw the Samsung products in this case I was struck by how similar they look to the Apple design when they are resting on a table. They look similar because they both have the same front screen. It stands out. However to the informed user (which at that stage I was not) these screens do not stand out to anything like the same extent.
"The front view of the Apple design takes its place amongst its kindred prior art. There is a clear family resemblance between the front of the Apple design and other members of that family (Flatron, Bloomberg 1 and 2, Ozolins, Showbox, Wacom). They are not identical to each other but they form a family. There are differences all over these products but the biggest differences between these various family members are at the back and sides. The user who is particularly observant and is informed about the design corpus reacts to the Apple design by recognising the front view as one of a familiar type. From the front both the Apple design and the Samsung tablets look like members of the same, pre-existing family. As a result, the significance of that similarity overall is much reduced and the informed user's attention to the differences at the back and sides will be enhanced considerably."
This case is one of a very large number of legal stoushes being fought between Apple and Samsung around the world - often with mixed results, but the general thrust seems to be more in favour of Samsung than Apple.