“This design patent gives Apple no new advantage, because no one is out there trying to market an iPad lookalike,” said Lea Shaver, Associate Professor with Indiana University’s McKinney School of Law. “It’s not a game changer. It’s just a little bit of positive news in an otherwise bad week for Apple, between the Wisconsin dismissal and the mishandling of the UK apology.”
In the ongoing Apple v. Samsung case, California jurors determined Samsung infringed on a number of Apple’s design and utility patents. One design patent that was involved, and found to be valid (but Apple was not found to be infringing upon), was for an early Apple tablet design. Today’s patent is far more specific, detailing exactly what the iPad looks like, with its circular home button, a camera placed at the top center of the device, and shows the slope of the back sides of the tablet.
Importantly, though, Apple would not be able to use this patent against Samsung and its Galaxy Tab in future litigation.
“The Samsung Galaxy doesn’t have a center bottom circle, it doesn’t have a camera in the top center, and although its back panel slopes to meet the front, the angle of that slope is different,” Shaver said. “Most importantly, the Galaxy tablet is very differently proportioned from an iPad in its height and width.”