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Apple UK Publishes Cheeky “Apology” to Samsung

Posted on November 5, 2012
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In compliance to a recent court ruling in the United Kingdom that Samsung did not copy the iPad, Apple has published a statement informing the public about the ruling on its UK homepage. However, the iPad company remained indignant in the process.

Apple’s public statement included four paragraphs detailing “similar German lawsuits” that the Court of Appeal in London says are not true. It also included the UK High Court judge’s statement in his decision that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is “not as cool” as the iPad.

“I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this,” says Appeals Judge Robin Jacob. “That is a plain breach of the order.”

The offending paragraphs in Apple’s statement are highlighted in bold below:

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. 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.”

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple’s design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognized that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad.

Because of this, the UK Court of Appeal has ordered Apple to remove the statement within 24 hours and post a modified notice acknowledging the inaccurate comments. Apple requested for 14 days to change the statement, but that was rejected.

Apple has released an toned-down apology in its UK homepage over the weekend, containing just two paragraphs.

Netizens on Reddit, however, have spotted how Apple’s remains defiant with the court order. For one, UK residents typing “apple.com” on their browsers are no longer redirected to the “apple.com/uk” homepage where the apology is published. Also, the homepage contained a Javascript code that would keep the apology hidden from plain sight, unless you scroll down. This means that casual consumers do not get to see the apology outright. Those who do, meanwhile, will have to click a link leading to another page containing Apple’s full statement.

Source: TechCrunch and Geekosystem

 
 

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