UK Court not amused with Apple's 'copy' notice, ordered to replace it

By on November 1, 2012, 1:30 PM

Last week Apple was ordered to make good on a July ruling to post a public notice on their UK website stating Samsung didn’t infringe on the design of the iPad with their own Galaxy-branded tablets. Cupertino complied, albeit with a cleverly worded notice that seemingly did everything possible to draw attention from the true intent of the letter.

As it turns out, that approach likely wasn’t the best move on Apple’s behalf. The UK Court of Appeal in London wasn’t amused, pointing out that sections of the text were untrue and incorrect. As such, the court has ordered that Apple remove the statement from their UK website within 24 hours and replace it with a new one that acknowledges the “inaccurate comments.”

Judge Robin Jacob was at a loss that a company of Apple’s caliber would do this, further saying that it was a plain breach of the order.

Henry Carr, a lawyer for Samsung, said the notice gave the impression that the UK court is out of step with other courts. Apple spokesperson Alan Hely declined to comment on the situation while Michael Beloff, a member of Apple’s legal team, told those in court that the comments were in line with the original order.

The notice, he said, “is not designed to punish, it is not designed to makes us grovel. The only purpose is to dispel commercial uncertainty.”

Apple's 14 day request to revise the notice was rejected. Instead, they were given just 48 hours from the time of the ruling to publish a new statement in no less than an 11-point font.

We have republished the original statement below for comparison purposes once the new notice has been posted.

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.




User Comments: 26

Got something to say? Post a comment
Littleczr Littleczr said:

UK's judicial system is so strange to me.

1 person liked this | BlueDrake said:

Honestly it's priceless I find, seeing Apple put in it's place for being the bully. Because they simply don't wish to properly comply is funny, since yes it's fine to make a joke but courts won't laugh. Especially when you're wasting their time, with your stupid foolishness.

I will admit they wanted to use the exact words from the judge, mostly to poke fun at Samsung. It's not very wise, to deviate from the orders given. Especially when you've been the bully of the playground, making sure everything goes your way or else. Ever since losing your visionary of the company, all we see is patent trolling to make profits.

So you're basically saying.. you can't admit defeat, so you'd rather sling mud? Get everyone else wrapped up in legal battles, so their products can't directly compete with yours? No wonder people shake their heads.

howzz1854 said:

You diss the court... this is what you get.

Guest said:

Apple working almost 3 years on iPad but Samsung enough 2 weeks. LoL

poor Steve

m4a4 m4a4 said:

I like this court. They don't put up with apple's BS

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Its like I said on the first article of this thing....if I were a judge I should order to put it with the right words defined by the judge and if they dont do it right, the judge should write the whole text

Those from apple are a joke, ridiculous as their products price

Tygerstrike said:

I read the original post when it was put up. I also realised that Apple was trying to play a very very dangerous game with the UK Justice system. A polite and short response to the judges orders would have been the correct thing to do. Howeve, Apple being BUTTHURT over not being able to buy off this judge, meant that they had to save face somehow. Bullies are the same everywhere. Apple just happends to be a corporate bully. This Bully got put in their place by a Judge named Robin. So how does it feel Apple? How does it feel to get slapped around like that? No comment??

Guest said:

I guess the US judges should make Samsung post an apology for copying and stealing too. While they're at it, all the other judicial systems should make Samsung post an apology for copying and stealing since they've been judged to be guilty everywhere except for the UK.

Gotta love these judges;)

Guest said:

The last paragraph of Apple's original notice is embarrassing and childish beyond belief. It's as if it was written by a surly teenager, rather than legal professionals employed by a multinational corporation.

Guest said:

Why I don't buy Apple products = being number one isn't enough, you need to be a prick too.

Guest said:

Samsung dint copy anything our US court just sucks up to apple

Jbucko said:

Lolololol got to love all the apple haters. It is amusing to see everyone all over the internet rage and hate on apple. Any company that takes part in the patent wars like these to company's did is an unfavorable company in my book. As far as the phones go Samsung really did copy apple IMO, I really stop caring after they went all bickering teenager like. I don't like to buy products from either company.

Pan Wah said:

Lolololol got to love all the apple haters. It is amusing to see everyone all over the internet rage and hate on apple. Any company that takes part in the patent wars like these to company's did is an unfavorable company in my book. As far as the phones go Samsung really did copy apple IMO, I really stop caring after they went all bickering teenager like. I don't like to buy products from either company.

Your right, Samsung used that whole "rectangle with rounded corners" concept (you know, that shape like most phones have or indeed playing cards!) which Apple clearly invented.

Guest said:

Actually if you looked at the final verdict, the "round" corners was not what Samsung was guilty of. They infringed on the touch interface and the icons they so willingly copied.

They should have been guilty of the look too though. If your own partner, Google that is, even told you to change your design, then it's pretty obvious that blatant copying was going on. (y)

Jbucko said:

@ pah wah read this and look at the picture and tell me I am wrong. [link]

Jbucko said:

Now the tablet suits I think both of them are just pissy little children.

Zoltan Head said:

@ pah wah read this and look at the picture and tell me I am wrong. [link]

Sorry, misread, now I can't seem to edit it out!!:'(

1 person liked this | Zoltan Head said:

Sorry, misread, now I can't seem to edit it out!!:'(

Whoops, now I have done. Please ignore!!

Tygerstrike said:

Apple may be a giant company with stores in pretty much every civilized nation, but they can still be held in contempt of court. Apple decided to put their own "spin" on the judges ruling. That would normally force a judge to cite them for contempt. I dont know how Apple got away with the original posting. However, the damage has been done. Ppl have read the original statement Apple posted. Apple has finally shown its TRUE motiffs. Apple is not interested in bringing the public new and exciting devices. They just want to ride the Steve Jobs Express as long as possible grabbing as much cash as possible till the general consuming public realizes how crappy Apple has become. Atleast Samsung tries to innovate. Apple has been forcefeeding consumers the same crap in a different package for 5 years now. There is even a joke in the cellphone world. Apple Iphones are a "kindergarten" smartphone. Big boys and girls get Android. Apple needs to change their focus from punishing the public for NOT buying a Iphone, to something a bit more constructive, like making a better product.

1 person liked this | Pan Wah said:

@ pah wah read this and look at the picture and tell me I am wrong. [link]

I never said you were wrong, I can if you want?

Jbucko said:

Lately yes samsung has been more inovative than apple. Apple and samsung have reversed roles since 2008. but calling ios "Kindergarten" is a little fanboyism towards android. If andriod didnt have such a rough star tat the infancy of andriod with all the bugs and plain crappyness campared to iphone os 2.2 -3.0 I think that Andriod would be on top by far. I see samsung over taking apple in the phone department in the next 5 years. I am hoping that windows phone 8 will take off or someone make a linux base phone.

Jbucko said:

@ pah wah read this and look at the picture and tell me I am wrong. [link]

I never said you were wrong, I can if you want?

I sensed sarcasim in the original post. that is y I said what I said.

Tygerstrike said:

@Jbucko

By "Kindergarten", It means safe. No real customization. What you get is what you get. Its a safe smartphone for ppl who have never used a smartphone. Those ppl who wish to use their device as they wish choose Android. Its not fanboyism, its fact.

Jbucko said:

I do agree with y it is called kindergarten. But I believe that it is a bad choice of words and for most android fans that use it is meant to be demeaning to other apple fan boys. Another reason y this apple vs android stuff is annoying as hell. Everyone is out to get each other.

Tygerstrike said:

Well I have both Apple and Android. Apple Iphone4 and a Android tablet. For me its not about fanboyism. Its about what my devices can do. I, like many consumers want the best bang for my buck. Apple no longer gives that level of "bang". Android atleast on the surface seems to listen to their customer base. Where Apple only wishes to listen to the almighty dollar. The whole patent issue has become such a joke because of Apple. Apple gets butthurt because not as many ppl are buying their craptastic products so they go after the ppl who make the products that have drawn away the Apple customer. This is less about business, and more about Apple throwing a tantrum.

Guest said:

"Look and feel" lawsuits should be completely banned. If current patent law had been around at the time the wheel was invented, some dirtbag company like Apple or SCO would have patented it and then sue for royalties whenever anyone else used something round. I could give hundreds or thousands of examples of things that current patent law would treat no differently than the stupid iphone vs android phone, and yet would outrage people if they were patented. Say, a ladder. Patent law is completely broken, and every time it's amended it gets worse.

Another example, maybe more relevant, of this idiocy is that when AT&T owned Unix, they tried to patent the way that application windows overlap on the screen. Like there's more than one way to do that? Fortunately, an academic at a university was able to prove that Unix didn't do it first.

As far as I'm concerned, the UK judge is the only one who got it right.

It should simply not be possible to patent something when the design is obvious and there is no practical way to do it differently. That applies to ladders, wheels, and yes, the current phone argument.

In 10 years Micro$oft will be an also-ran has-been company. Apple won't be far behind. Good riddance to both. Both companies were run by figureheads who, after inventing one original revolutionary product that the company was founded on, devolved into just expertise in selling ice cubes to eskimos, not further innovation. Companies which do predatory pricing just because they can should die off.

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