Apple's online apology to Samsung not sufficient, says UK court

Pursuant to a UK judge's orders, Apple last week posted a statement on its website admitting that Samsung's Galaxy Tab was not a rip off of the iPad. Apple, in typical fashion, however, decided to do things their own way and incurred a scolding from the UK Court.

Pursuant to a UK Judge's orders, Apple last week posted a statement on its website admitting that Samsung's Galaxy Tab was not a rip off of the iPad. Apple, in typical fashion, however, decided to do things their own way and posted the following statement on their website.

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 not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the Highcourt is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.

In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:

"The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design."

"The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."

Apple also made sure to mention victories they achieved in other jurisdictions, such as the $1.05 billion judgement awarded in their favor from their U.S. court case this past summer.

"So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement," Apple concluded, "other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad."

So sure, Apple technically followed the Judge's directive, but clearly they also tried to bury the lead, so to speak.

And as it turns out, Apple's interpretation of the order didn't sit well with the U.K. Court or with Samsung. Consequently, Apple has since been ordered to change the statement on its website within 24 hours, though Apple initially asked for two weeks - a request which was summarily denied.

Notably, Apple doesn't think it did anything wrong and that it complied fully with the order.

"It's not designed to punish," Apple attorney Michael Beloff explained. "It's not designed to make us grovel. The only purpose must be to dispel commercial uncertainty."

So why does the UK Court take umbrage with Apple's multi-paragraph statement? Well, apparently they bought into Samsung's argument that Apple's statement creates "the impression that the U.K. court is out of step with other courts."

Okay, but isn't that the case? It's not as if Apple said anything inaccurate in their statement.

Nevertheless, Judge Robin Jacob wasn't swayed, noting: "’I'm at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this. That is a plain breach of the order.”

As of Midnight on Friday, the original posting is still up, so we'll see when Apple finally gets around to changing it.

via Bloomberg

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