You might be aware of Apple’s lawsuit against Android device maker Samsung (SEO:005930), which claims that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is just a little too similar to Apple’s iPad 2. (If you weren’t, that’s the skinny.)
This week, Webwereld.nl, the Dutch counterpart to Computerworld, was poking around in Apple’s case files and noticed something… wonky. An “exhibit” supplied by Apple comparing the iPad 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 wasn’t quite right. See, a big point in Apple’s infringement case is that the Galaxy Tab is “practically identical” to the iPad 2–a patented design. But the Galaxy Tab has a noticeably different aspect ratio–except in Apple’s submitted evidence.
The Galaxy Tab was stretched via Photoshop or some image editor to look like it had the same dimensions as the iPad 2. The Galaxy Tab was reduced from a 1.46 aspect ratio (for the tablet, no [sic] the display) down to a more iPad-like 1.36. The iPad has an aspect ratio of 1.30.
Based on Apple’s case, Samsung has been prohibited from distributing the Galaxy Tab in Australia and the European Union. But the discovery of this obvious tampering will seriously impair Apple’s case, says EU lawyer Arnout Groen with the Dutch firm Klos Morel Vos & Schaap:
“This is a blunder. That such a ‘mistake’ is made in a case about design rights can scarcely be a coincidence. … The aspect ratio of the alleged Galaxy Tab is clearly distorted to match the iPad more closely. Inasmuch as this faux pas will have consequences for the case is of course up to the judge. But at least a reprimand by the German judge seems to be in order.”
Samsung will appeal the European Union ban in court on August 25. Whether or not Apple’s infringement case will stand has yet to be determined.