Apple lost its High Court appeal over a ruling that the rival Samsung Galaxy tablet did not copy the iPad. The world's two leading smartphone makers are fighting over patents, both for smartphones and for tablets, in courts around the world.
Samsung sold 56.3 million smartphones between July and September 2012, according to research firm IDC, giving it a global market share of 31.3 percent - more than double that of Apple, which said it sold 26.9 million iPhones.
The news came as the South Korean technology firm posted a fourth straight record quarterly profit - of £4.6 billion - with strong sales of its Galaxy range of phones masking sharply lower sales of memory chips.
But analysts predict that the record run is likely to end in December, with profit growth slowing further next year as TV markets stagnate and growth in high-end smartphones eases from the recent breakneck speed.
While Samsung outsells Apple in gadgets, the Korean group's market value is just a third of the U.S. firm's £359 billion, and iPhone sales will show stronger numbers in Q4 thanks to the recent iPhone 5 release.
Apple has reluctantly posted a page on its UK website which states that Samsung's Galaxy tablet did not copy the iPad.
Last week the High Court upheld an earlier ruling which said copyright was not infringed, with a judge compelling the California-based firm to run an online notice for six months and to take out advertisements in several newspapers.
"On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic(UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do notinfringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001."
Another paragraph repeats a judge's ruling that the Samsung devices "do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple [iPad] design. They are not as cool."
The three Court of Appeal judges rejected Apple's challenge against an order made by Judge Birss that it must publicise the fact that it had lost the case.
Sir Robin Jacob said: "The grant of such an order is not to punish the party concerned for its behaviour. Nor is it to make it grovel - simply to lose face. The test is whether there is a need to dispel commercial uncertainty."
Ruling that an order was necessary, Sir Robin said Apple must make the position clear "that it acknowledges that the court has decided that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design."
"The acknowledgement must come from the horse's mouth. Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely," he added.
Samsung said in a statement that it continues to believe the rectangular tablet shape is not Apple's to own:
We welcome the court's judgement, which reaffirmed our position that our Galaxy Tab products do not infringe Apple's registered design right.
We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art.
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.