Apple ordered to pay for ads saying Samsung did not copy the iPad

Apple knows its way around the courthouse better than most companies, but even the seasoned legal scrapper might have been taken by surprise by the upshot of its UK High Court patent dispute against competing manufacturer Samsung.

Following on from his 9 July ruling in London, Judge Colin Birss has ordered the Cupertino-based tech giant to publish a formal notice stating that Galaxy tablets like the Tab 10.1 did not copy its registered designs, as evident in devices like the iPad.

The declaration must appear in a range of mainstream British newspapers - including the Daily Mail, the Guardian, and the Financial Times – in order to counter false impressions, generated by the trial, that Samsung's tablet range had nicked Apple's intellectual property, Judge Birss declared.

Apple will be required to pay for privilege of essentially apologising to its bitter rival via the advertisements, and will also have to run a similar notice on its UK website for a period of six months.

Predictably, Apple are far from pleased with the announcement, with their lawyer Richard Hacon, of leading set of barristers' chambers 11 South Square, noting that "no company likes to refer to a rival on its website."

Yesterday's court order follows Judge Birss' decision at the beginning of the month, where he rubbished Apple's claim that the Galaxy tablet range infringed on its design patents in somewhat audacious style, saying that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 was "not cool" enough to have knocked off the Californian firm's build.

Apple is expected to appeal the decision, which is the latest in a string of patent-related legal battles encompassing a number of major technology markets including Germany, the UK, and of course the US.

The rivalry between the two companies is reaching fever pitch following the frenzy-inducing launch of the Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, and ahead of the expected autumn arrival of Apple's latest flagship handset, dubbed the iPhone 5.