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.