Samsung Electronics Co. won an intellectual property ruling against Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) as a U.K. judge said the Galaxy tablet isn’t “cool” enough to be confused with the design for the iPad.

The Galaxy tablet doesn’t infringe Apple’s registered design, Judge Colin Birss said in a ruling today in London. He said that consumers weren’t likely to get the two tablet computers mixed up.

The Galaxy tablets “do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design,” Birss said. “They are not as cool.”

Apple is fighting patent lawsuits around the globe against rivals including HTC Corp. and Samsung as it competes for dominance of the smartphone and tablet computer markets. The firms have accused each other of copying designs and technology used in mobile devices.

Samsung said the judgment affirms its position that the Galaxy Tab doesn’t infringe Apple’s registered design rights.

“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,” Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in an e-mailed statement.

An e-mail to Apple’s U.K. media relations office wasn’t immediately answered.

Samsung asked a U.K. court to rule that its Galaxy tablets weren’t too similar to products created by the late Apple co- founder Steve Jobs and the company’s design chief Jonathan Ive, according to today’s judgment. Apple filed a counter-claim.

Judge Birss found that Samsung’s products were distinctive because they were thinner and had “unusual details” on the back. He gave Apple 21 days to appeal the decision.

Apple, based in Cupertino, California, has sought injunctions in countries including the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands seeking to ban Samsung from selling its tablets. Samsung lost a bid this month to put on hold a U.S. court order barring sales of its latest Galaxy model.