UK judge orders Apple to rewrite website apology for uncool Samsung

“Apple Inc. was criticized by U.K. judges in a lawsuit with Samsung Electronics Co. for posting a notice on its website that was ‘untrue’ and ‘incorrect,'” Jeremy Hodges reports for Bloomberg.

“The U.K. Court of Appeal in London ordered Apple to remove the statement within 24 hours and place a new notice acknowledging the inaccurate comments. The Cupertino, California-based company was told by the same court last month to post the initial notice as part of a ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets didn’t copy the design of Apple’s iPad,” Hodges reports. “‘I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this,’ Judge Robin Jacob said today.

MacDailyNews Take: Uh, perhaps because you’re a blooming idiot?

“The decision is the latest in a lawsuit that dates back to a July judgment in which a London judge said the design for three Galaxy tablets didn’t infringe Apple’s registered design because they were not ‘cool’ enough,” Hodges reports. “The court’s initial order to post a notice was designed to correct the impression that the South Korean company was copying Apple’s product. Apple’s post, criticized by judges today, inserted four paragraphs including excerpts of the original ‘cool’ ruling and details of similar German lawsuits that the court today said weren’t true. The notice has created the ‘impression that the U.K. court is out of step with other courts,’ Henry Carr, Samsung’s lawyer, said in a filing to the judges.”

MacDailyNews Take: Said notion would be correct.

Hodges reports, “Michael Beloff, a lawyer for the company, told the court that the comments were in line with the original order. The notice ‘is not designed to punish, it is not designed to makes us grovel,’ Beloff said in court today. ‘The only purpose is to dispel commercial uncertainty.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should run these idiots through the wringer – each “apology” will get ever-increasing attention, spotlighting the stupidity of the UK judges and painting Samsung as the slavish copier they so clearly are.

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

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Apple’s original statement, 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.

Related articles:
Apple posts public apology to Samsung in UK – October 26, 2012
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

66 Comments

  1. As I noted earlier, there was no requirement to actually apologize, just acknowledge the court findings, but the second part of Apple’s website message would likely (and now has) run afoul of the UK judges.

    Much as I dislike Samsung and the UK court’s decision, in this game (and this stupid thing is a game), you do NOT violate the spirit of the ruling by following its letter, especially so blatantly.

    Apple’s lawyers should be shot for signing off on that notice.

    1. To clarify: I don’t think they’d have had problems saying the court ruled Samsung’s devices weren’t cool enough to have been copied, that’s using the court’s own words. It would’ve been funny if edgy.

      But mentioning and linking to contrary court decisions in other jurisdictions was a legally boneheaded move worthy of Microsoft and other dick companies, and the court will remember it next time Apple is before them.

      1. Apple’s legal move was quite smart I would say in opposition to sit-at-home experts on all matters legal.
        Smart in the sense that most people, I am suspecting, didn’t click on a small link to read a legal ruling, and will now, since this is “news against Apple” and will draw attention to the link and read it so they can see what a boneheaded decision the judge made, especially revealing the “coolness” comment. You can’t buy that kind of advertising.
        If one disagrees that Samsung copied Apple then no logic will convince one that Apple should be made to grovel.

        1. last sentence, if anyone is concerned…should be:
          If one disagrees that Samsung copied Apple, then no logic will convince them that Apple should NOT be made to grovel.

      2. You were spot on with your comment mossman, I also pointed out that I felt this was not an apology and I doubted that the judge would be satisfied with the so called apology. I guess now we know that the judge did not proof it before it was posted. At this stage I’d be tempted to make sure that whatever is posted is presented to the judge prior to being put on the Apple website.

        It may not be something that Apple wants, but if they want to do business in other countries they need to respect the laws and judgments of other countries even if they disagree with them. I don’t know exactly what the “inaccurate comments” are from the looks of it I suspect it has to do with pointing out the German ruling, possibly the American one along with the quotes from the judge, which obviously makes him look very uncool. It’s probably accurate but I don’t think a judge will look kindly upon being pointed out that he is a buffoon.

        I do hope this time Apple does get the judge to pre-approve the statement before it goes on the website. That’s just common sense. What Apple did was so very cool, but one should remember that coolness can be viewed as arrogance by those who are uncool.

        1. Road Warrior,
          While I agree with you about obeying the laws, this latest judicial ruling smacks of…. “we judges were really stupid and you showed the public just how stupid. ”

          Apple followed the letter of the ruling and even took plenty of time to get it right. Now the judge wants Apple to “do it right” but does not explain right and wants it done right now.
          “Stupid is as Stupid does!”

          I read a lawyers review of the posting and he thought it was exactly to the letter of the law. It is not Apples fault when judges do STUPID things.

          Actually I think the judge should be required to post EXACTLY what he though the wording should be, since he is requiring it and does not like what was legal and correct.

          1. That’s very insightful eldernorm, and I think that (perhaps in hindsight) if there was a realization that the judge was as you so diplomatically put it “stupid” (snicker) then extra care should have been taken, i.e. the statement should have been pre-approved.

            I can’t help but chuckle thinking about the Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christen Anderson. In the original story the crowd takes up the cause of the child, but these days I find that the crowd sticks with the Emperor and attacking the child is more of the norm. Sign of the times I guess.

        2. He did not order Apple to apologize, he said to put this on their website:

          “On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design 000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available via the following link [insert hyperlink].”

          He said nothing about not adding to that statement.

          1. Jaxx44, if the judge told them to put that statement on their website then they should have done so without any additional comment. He may not have said anything about not adding to the statement but by doing so they manipulated the context and that would certainly would explain the situation that now exists.

            I see a similarity to this someone giving you a recipe and then deciding to add extra ingredients, which changes the outcome of the entire dish.

            1. why can’t apple add comment especially it’s the judges OWN comments to illustrate why the judge made his decision.

              Apple just used a mirror on the judge, his own comments are making him look stupid.. perhaps he should be more circumspect in the first place.

              he’s an idiot moron.

            2. The judge didn’t tell them to put the statement on their website verbatim with no additional comment or information. Everything Apple posted was factually correct, and in fact even used the judge’s own words from his written opinion.

              The reality is the judge is upset that he was called out as implicitly wrong in his ruling when two other countries’ courts have ruled exactly the opposite. Plus, the judge probably doesn’t like that his own words were used to uphold/promote Apple’s position.

              Either way, Apple wins. The most the judge can do is order Apple to pull it down and replace it with exactly what he ordered Apple to post and nothing additional, which Apple will do. But Apple made its point in droves with the PR machine/blogs/internet media proliferating the posted letter.

              Snarky? Yup. Also highly, highly effective.

            3. I think, from reading most of your comments that it’s probably the comments about other rulings in different countries that might have really puts the judge “at a loss” although the mirroring comments might have something to do with it as well.

              Apple may have made it’s point effectively but the judge has done a lot more than order Apple to pull it down and replace it. He made some snarky statements himself:

              -“I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this,”
              -“That is a plain breach of the order.”
              – “I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit setting out the technical difficulties which means Apple can’t put this on” their website”
              -“I just can’t believe the instructions you’ve been given. This is Apple. They cannot put something on their website?”

              Furthermore the point that mossman made about Apple linking to contrary court decisions in other jurisdictions was not a smart more, and it may be indeed effective canon fodder against my favorite company the next time they are in court. I rarely think it’s a good idea to piss off a judge, no matter how obtuse his or her ruling might be.

      1. Actually it isn’t that bad of an idea. Anglocide only mentions that Apple should stop selling iPads in the UK, not their whole line of products. It would not involve closing up their flagship stores. Furthermore if Apple decided to stop selling iPads for a limited time (say for a year) as a result of the ruling they would be putting their money where their mouth is. It would substantiate the “apology” while at the same time create a backlash towards the judge from the very people he is supposed to serve, British citizens. It certainly would be a financial scratch to Apple, as opposed to cutting off the nose to spite the face but sometimes revolutionaries have to bring the issue back to the people when the justice system fails them. That is after all at the core of the birth of America.

        1. Most idiotic idea i’ve ever heard..

          This is one fricking judge. As a business you don’t stop selling a product to an entire country that adds 100’s of millions of dollars to your bottom line to get back at ONE JUDGE.

          And yes, Anglocide said maybe even “shut down the stores”

          Idiocy.

          1. I course it’s an idiotic idea, it’s satire. I mean what kind of business would put up a snarky comment (as others call it) on their web site, available to the whole country just to get back at ONE JUDGE.

            Personally I don’t think there is anything wrong factually with what they said, but it does make the judge look like the buffoon he is, and that has consequences.

  2. because it’s apple, the azzhole judge wanted to make a statement by making apple apologize and even specified that it should be in large print. Legal experts said it was an unusual move by a judge to request such a thing.

    So Apple put the required statement, then added the judges OWN trial comments and links to other judgements elesewhere.
    Don’t see anything wrong with that.

    The judge said that his orders were to ‘clarify’ Apple vs Samsung. I think Apple’s statement was VERY CLEAR.

    I’ll rather as an aapl investor that Apple stand it’s ground. If UK judge wants to the extreme to even ban apple products, fine. Go ahead, apple can afford to lose UK sales — the publicity of grovelling to Samsung is worse, sales to growing asia (where I guarantee Samsung will use the apology and where ‘face’ and ‘status’ is important — people there willing to spend a months salary on an apple device) is Ten times more than UK and rising. If there is a ban let the UK apple buying public question why Apple was willing to stand it’s ground and examine the idiot judges decision.

    I thought Apple’s statement was great and should some balls not like the limp dick ‘use Nokia maps’ Mapgate apology from Cook.

    Fuk the judge.

    1. just last week Samsung announced that it’s selling twice as many smartphones as Apple.

      in the various trials it was revealed that Apple spent YEARs developing the iPhone. And because they COPIED samsung managed to put their clones out (vastly different from their previous phones ) in a FEW WEEKS and did not spend the hundreds of millions on R&D. Because they can cut corners like that (just copying whenever apple invents something and having a heads up because they are a apple contract manufacturer) samsung can just pump phones up.

      It’s really sickening: equal to a PRINTER stealing a client author’s book and selling pirate copies of it.

      copying has tremendous advantages to thieves, if UK judge wants to support them, like I said fuk him.

      I really hope Cook has the balls to stand his ground.

  3. Great Brittain is the largest looter and grave robber country in the history of world. They stole massive quantities of historically significant artifacts from everywhere. The fact that they cannot recognize the thievery of Samsung does not surprise me. Great Brittain has never had a high level of integrity on this. But for this judge to maintain even the slightest level of personal credibility, he should order the British government to post apologies for their looting in all the countries of the world. I mean if they actually gave the stolen goods back, they wouldn’t have any museums.

    Meanwhile, Apple should raise prices and lower supplies in all stores in the UK. The clever Londoners can go to France, Spain, Holland, etc. to buy their macs and iPads. In many cases, this is only a short ride for them. This will have interesting impact on the UK trade balances and tax collections. Nice work, Judge.

    1. Yes, because the “clever Londoners” are all responsible for the judges moronic decision. This is why successful companies aren’t run by people like you. The name Mountain Man fits you quite well.

    2. Why all the hate for Great Britain today?

      Over the last 3-4 years most posters here have bent over backwards to declare how much better their system is than the US judicial system because they require the loser to pay all the legal costs of the winner. You all claimed that that would prevent alot of the ridiculous money grabbing civil suites like scratchgate, and ward off plenty of patent squatters also.

    3. ROFL. Yeah, Londoners should go to France to buy our Macs. There’s no museums full of “stolen” loot in Paris are there? 🙂

      Meanwhile, what about all the other cities in the UK with Apple Stores?

  4. Easily fixed.

    SORRY! This time we mean it when we say that samsung didn’t steal from us, really, we mean it, no getting around it. They didn’t do it. No, no, really they didn’t. Fuck off.

  5. How this for an apology:

    “We’re really, really sorry that one judge has issued an opinion at odds with all these other courts, and that his limited knowledge has made him unaware of the extent to which our products have been copied by Samsung. Additionally, we’re sorry that Samsung is unable to compete in a legal fashion and observes different ethical standards from ours. We promise to do our best to keep this from happening again by limiting Samsung’s access to our products until they are already in the marketplace. We further apologize for taking up this court’s time with matters which it is clearly incapable of understanding. We’re sorry that this judge has somehow been empowered to make ignorant judgments in an area in which he obviously has no expertise. But don’t get us started.”

  6. I am thinking of Samsung’s dirty dealings with Judge Koh; When Koh ruled certain Samsung “evidence” to be inadmissible, Samsung released said “evidence” to the media anyway, without resultant sanctions, to ensure its publication.

    Will Apple end up posting an apology hand-written by the UK Judge?
    Then will Apple post their own ads throughout UK media, without mention of the UK court case, Apple’s ads highlighting the glaring evidence of Samsung’s obvious copying?

    I am not a lawyer, and I don’t even play one on TV. Not even on a small market Cable program.

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