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UK court rules Apple's Samsung statement non-compliant

updated 12:14 pm EDT, Thu November 1, 2012

Apple to publish amended statement within 48 hours

Apple has been attacked by the UK Court of Appeal over how the company worded its acknowledgment that Samsung did not infringe on iPad design patents. The original statement was considered not to be compliant with the court order, and Apple has been instructed to republish a more appropriate statement on its website.

A hearing at the London-based court attended by The Guardian saw judges Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Kitchin, and Sir Robin Jacob express their displeasure at Apple's initial statement, that it could not have been made simpler by the company. Apple has been given 48 hours to change the statement, put it on the front page instead of a linked page, and to use at least 11-point font.

The company complained at the time constraint, asking for at least 14 days to change the statement, but the extension was denied. Lord Longmore told the Apple legal team "We are just amazed that you cannot put the right notice up at the same time as you take the other one down." Sir Jacob also questioned the delay, adding "I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit about why that is such a technical difficulty for the Apple company."

The statement originally appeared on the Apple website on October 26th, with two of the comments quoting from the ruling made by Judge Birss, including the infamous "It is a cool design" and "They are not as cool" comments. Though Apple did indicate the ruling result as it was ordered to, it also included results from other court cases finding in Apple's favor. As the intention of the "apology" is to remove any 'commercial uncertainty' about Samsung's products, mentioning the other court cases effectively prevents that from taking place. "A consumer might as well think; 'I had better not buy a Samsung - maybe it's illegal and if I buy one it may not be supported'," added Sir Robin.

Michael Beloff QC, on behalf of Apple, told the assembled judges that the company had complied with the order. "It's not designed to punish", said Beloff, "It's not designed to make us grovel. The only purpose must be to dispel commercial uncertainty."

Apple has also been ordered to publish a statement in advertisements in various publications, though no sightings of these have been made as of yet.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Bobfozz

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-28-08

    This is what happens when centuries old countries have come to believe the ANYTHING GOES code of ethics. Every year I houseguest a fellow from England and he cannot believe the idiocy of British judges.

    If it is so simple perhaps the judges should draft the statement and Apple can publish what they wrote. it does sound like they are 100 years old and crotchety. It's tough to imagine any company getting justice in England UNLESS they are Korean and infamous the world over for copy, and not just recently.

    So judges, if it is SIMPLE as you say, you draft it. Apple and Samsung wasted all their money for you to talk about "cool" but in your own non-technical, non-designy hearts, show how little you really know about this or any other case. It's hard for me to ever believe that judges who know little or nothing about technology should be allowed to rule on it. When it comes to ART, yeah, right, they know what is good and what isn't.

    These guys embarrass themselves and I am sure that when no one is looking, Samsung is laughing their butts off at the British just like Muslim terrorists have.

  1. Kludge

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-19-12

    Someone forgot to take their crazy pills.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 11-15-06

    11 point size on homepage? And also on commercial? Are you nuts? Apple is running a business, not a public display of execution.

  1. wrenchy

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 11-03-09

    Sounds like the editors of electronista had their hand in writing this statement. As usual, not good enough. Write it again boys. Lol!

  1. apostle

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-16-08

    The "Judge" even states it is an iPad copy, 'they belong to the family which includes the Apple 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."

    So, if a company were to copy the exact design of a VW Beetle, but substitute triangular headlights for the round ones, it would be legal?

    If Apple wants to keep that last bit about rulings that were in their favor, they should post what the "Judge" wants and at the bottom of the page put a link. Related Stories.

    =0)

  1. bobolicious

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 08-15-02

    How does this happen?

    Will the UK be the long term losers?

    Will companies able to design 'cool' do so again if at greater risk ?

    Is it prudent to invest in creating such things in a market that does not protect the initiative...?

  1. Trapped

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-01-12

    Originally Posted by BobfozzView Post


    If it is so simple perhaps the judges should draft the statement and Apple can publish what they wrote.



    They did. From the 18th July Ruling ( http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/2049.html ), Samsung requested:

    [INDENT]Within seven days of the date of this Order the Defendant shall, at its own expense, (a) post in a font size no small than Arial 14 pt the notice specified in Schedule 1 to this Order on the home pages of its EU websites ("the Defendant's Websites"), as specified in Schedule 1 to this order, together with a hyperlink to the judgment of HHJ Birss QC dated 09 July 2012, said notice and hyperlink to remain displayed on the Defendant's Websites for a period of one year from the date of this Order or until further order of the Court[...][/INDENT]

    and the notice from Schedule 1:

    [INDENT]"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]."

    [/INDENT]

    and the Judge ruled:

    [INDENT][...] in my judgment, it seems to me that the fair answer is that Apple should be required to put advertisements in the relevant newspapers and to put a statement on their United Kingdom website.
    [...]
    I will require the statement to be on the United Kingdom website of Apple corporation for six months.
    [/INDENT]

    In the appeal of 18th October ( http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html ), the Judges ruled:

    [INDENT]As regards publicity on the Apple home web page, [Samsung] proposed that instead of requiring the notice to be on the web page itself, it would be sufficient if there were a link provided from that to the notice. [...] All that need be added is a link entitled "Samsung/Apple UK judgment."

    As regards the period for which the link should appear, [Samsung] recognised that a one month period would probably suffice. So I think it should be required for a month from the date the order of this Court is made.

    Finally I should say something about the notice itself. [...] Subject to anything that may be submitted by either side I would propose the following:

    On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (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 No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link [link given].

    That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on ….. A copy of the Court of Appeal's judgment is available on the following link […]. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.
    [/INDENT]

    And that's it. All Apple had to do was publish those two short paragraphs on the linked page. By inserting the other paragraphs, they were deliberately trying obfuscate the ruling and will now have to publish on the home page rather than on a linked page where few would have ever seen it.

  1. aristotles

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: 07-16-04

    Those judges are drunk with power and divorced for reality of the "real world". I would not be surprised if they never "worked" a day in their life.

    I suddenly have no interest to visit England again or to spend my hard earned money there.

  1. ljmac

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-07-10

    I don't see how this punishment can be seen as anything other than outrageous bias against Apple on the part of the judge. I have never heard of anything like this before, and to make Apple do this over something that's so open to interpretation (as demonstrated by the very different findings in other courts) is utterly ridiculous. It implies that the judge thinks his opinion is the absolute truth, and that all the other judges that have found differently must be wrong. It is up to him whether he finds for or against Apple or Samsung (although once again I'd have to question his impartiality), but to make Apple issue such a public apology is simply absurd.

  1. vootie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-30-12

    Apple got caught trying to shirk its legal obligations, so they must face public humilation by doing it a second time. And a third, if they still don't play by the rules. Pretty simple, really.

  1. WTF-rewrite

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-04-12

    It's really very simple to understand, it's a court order, failure to comply will result in fines for contempt of court. Personally, I hope Apple's arrogance results in very many refusals to abide by the ruling followed by very many and hugely increasing fines. I fully realise that Apple can afford them, fantastic, I'm sure no person in the UK cares two hoots how long it takes to force compliance as long as along the tortuous route Apple regularly swells the coffers of our courts. I hope it goes on for years. This is simply the first of many court cases in the European Union for Apple. EU law forces companies to provide two year warranties for their products, Apple has already been fined in Italy for non compliance. Apple, please continue with your arrogance, we welcome your payments.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Originally Posted by WTF-rewriteView Post

    It's really very simple to understand, it's a court order, failure to comply will result in fines for contempt of court. Personally, I hope Apple's arrogance results in very many refusals to abide by the ruling followed by very many and hugely increasing fines. I fully realise that Apple can afford them, fantastic, I'm sure no person in the UK cares two hoots how long it takes to force compliance as long as along the tortuous route Apple regularly swells the coffers of our courts. I hope it goes on for years. This is simply the first of many court cases in the European Union for Apple.



    Actually, this is only one of several court cases in the EU on this very subject matter, and all others FOUND IN APPLE'S FAVOUR.

    Apple (truthfully) stated as much in their first version of this statement, and the court found it to violate the intended spirit, which obviously wasn't in the interest of truth, but merely punitive.

    Either way, in two months, nobody will care, and whoever is interested will misrepresent it in whatever way suits their argument at the time, just as you do with this particular judgement, here:

    Originally Posted by WTF-rewriteView Post

    EU law forces companies to provide two year warranties for their products, Apple has already been fined in Italy for non compliance.


    This is patently false.

    Apple was fined over stating that buying AppleCare gives you a two-year warranty over the one year warranty you regularly have. Which is kind of iffy, but actually true:

    Apple's (completely voluntary) one-year warranty offers more than the EU-mandated two-year warranty.
    Apple's warranty basically applies when anything breaks within the first year, and you (or a third party) don't appear to have broken it.
    The EU warranty covers ONLY defects that ALREADY EXISTED WHEN YOU BOUGHT THE PRODUCT. The law states that if the defect shows up within the first six months of ownership, it will be treated as having existed at date of purchase. Beyond that, it is UP TO THE CUSTOMER to PROVE that the defect was inherent to the machine when he bought it. Which is pretty much impossible, or too expensive to be worth it.

    AppleCare extends Apple's VOLUNTARY warranty, and gives you free phone support in addition.


    The EU warranty isn't affected by AppleCare, but it wasn't explicitly mentioned in the sales literature. THAT is what the Italian courts objected to.

  1. WTF-rewrite

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-04-12

    Originally Posted by Spheric HarlotView Post


    Actually, this is only one of several court cases in the EU on this very subject matter, and all others FOUND IN APPLE'S FAVOUR.
    Apple (truthfully) stated as much in their first version of this statement, and the court found it to violate the intended spirit, which obviously wasn't in the interest of truth, but merely punitive.
    Either way, in two months, nobody will care, and whoever is interested will misrepresent it in whatever way suits their argument at the time, just as you do with this particular judgement, here:
    This is patently false.
    Apple was fined over stating that buying AppleCare gives you a two-year warranty over the one year warranty you regularly have. Which is kind of iffy, but actually true:
    Apple's (completely voluntary) one-year warranty offers more than the EU-mandated two-year warranty.
    Apple's warranty basically applies when anything breaks within the first year, and you (or a third party) don't appear to have broken it.
    The EU warranty covers ONLY defects that ALREADY EXISTED WHEN YOU BOUGHT THE PRODUCT. The law states that if the defect shows up within the first six months of ownership, it will be treated as having existed at date of purchase. Beyond that, it is UP TO THE CUSTOMER to PROVE that the defect was inherent to the machine when he bought it. Which is pretty much impossible, or too expensive to be worth it.
    AppleCare extends Apple's VOLUNTARY warranty, and gives you free phone support in addition.
    The EU warranty isn't affected by AppleCare, but it wasn't explicitly mentioned in the sales literature. THAT is what the Italian courts objected to.



    Excellent response; courteous, cerebral and informed. I applaud your sense of fairness. You are probably correct, in two months it's highly likely that nobody will care and mis=representation will be used to suit individual view-points in the very same way I used it in my original post. The important thing; it got people thinking and examining the evidence. Now, talking of mis-representation; hanging chads, Florida and an election I wonder if the citizens of the US will have the intelligence to do the right thing in the next few days.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    comment title

    ...aaaand, in a stunning turn of events:

    UK judge who issued extreme ruling for Samsung against Apple hired by... Samsung!

    Samsung hires the judge responsible for this over-the-top verdict against Apple.

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