Apple posts public apology to Samsung in UK

Apple Inc. today posted the following statement on their UK website, verbatim:

Samsung / Apple UK judgment

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 High court 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.

Source: Apple Inc.

MacDailyNews Take: So concludes one of the stupidest judgements in history.

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Related article:
UK court upholds judgement: Samsung tablet does not infringe on Apple’s iPad designs because it’s ‘not as cool’; Apple forced to run ads saying Samsung did not copy iPad – October 18, 2012

39 Comments

    1. As recommended by many on this forum, Apple used the judge’s own words to turn a forced apology into a pro-iPad advertisement while fully complying with the direction of the court. The irony is delicious.

    2. If the judgement was to produce an apology, then I think the following line should have been added.

      “So, in conclusion, in fulfilling the courts orders…. Samsung, the High Court of England has decreed that Samsung is not as cool as Apple. We are sorry.”

      Just a thought.

    1. That certainly is not an apology in my books, more like a reports of the facts of the case. There is no statement along the lines of “we regret” or “we are sorry”. It certainly does not compare to the apology Tim Cook recently made to customers about their mapping application.

      I don’t know if the British judge will be satisfied with that, but I gather he proofed it before it was posted.

    2. Apology is MDN’s phrasing.

      IIRC Apple didn’t have to apologize, just say that Samsung did not copy Apple.

      OTOH I’m concerned the judge might not look kindly on the last part, about the German ruling.

      1. Me to. I recently bought a Bosch dishwasher and a Toshiba flat screen TV. I specifically excluded the cheaper Samsung products from consideration. I’ll pay a little extra to avoid dealing with thieves and liars.

        1. @Zeke: Good for you on your purchases. We’ve been extremely happy with our Bosch dishwasher and laundry/dryer for ages. Rugged, quiet, perform like Timex watches (they take a licking but keep on ticking) and Apple products.

  1. So go for Samsung if you want an “uncool copy” of the Apple iPad design.
    Hmm. 🙂 Appears the judge is saying: Buy Apple iPad if you want to be cool!

  2. Disgraceful decision, to find no infringement is one thing but to force a company to actually lie in regard to not only its opinion but opinion founded in Courts elsewhere is a disgrace. Worse still the BBC are misrepresenting the case totally. Whatever happened to their reputation for fair objective journalism.

  3. I’m really surprised that this wasn’t overruled on appeal.
    I mean, even if you accept the judges ruling (which i dont) which was to disagree with Apples position, what possible good does a ‘public apology’ do?
    It doesn’t benefit the consumer, it doesn’t seek to redress anything financially, it just seems so, we’ll childish.

    Is it really just there to embarrass Apple, and by extension, Apple users?

    Are the Apple haters in the UK really that desperate that all they’re left with, in face of Apple domination is to resort to making fun of us?

    I’m from the UK and work alongside Apple haters every day and it seems the answer is yes.

  4. Wow! Apple slammed both Samesung and Judge Magoo. In hind sight, he may look at this as a bad move. Can you imagine the ribbing he’s getting from his fellow judges?

  5. This case was not about copying of the iPad but the paper images. The appeal judgement says this: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html

    3. Because this case (and parallel cases in other countries) has generated much publicity, it will avoid confusion to say what this case is about and not about. It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple’s iPad. Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law. Whether or not Apple could have sued in England and Wales for copying is utterly irrelevant to this case. If they could, they did not. Likewise there is no issue about infringement of any patent for an invention.

    4. So this case is all about, and only about, Apple’s registered design and the Samsung products. The registered design is not the same as the design of the iPad. It is quite a lot different. For instance the iPad is a lot thinner, and has noticeably different curves on its sides. There may be other differences – even though I own one, I have not made a detailed comparison. Whether the iPad would fall within the scope of protection of the registered design is completely irrelevant. We are not deciding that one way or the other. This case must be decided as if the iPad never existed.

    5. Other disputes between the parties in other countries have concerned other intellectual property rights. We are not concerned with any of them.

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