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Bryan M. Wolfe
| November 1, 2012
UK Judges Demand Apple Apologize To Samsung … Using Different Words
Days after Apple complied with a U.K. judge’s order and placed a message on their British website, there has been a request for a rewrite. At issue is the message that Apple was required to add stating that Samsung did not infringe on their patented iPad design, according to the BBC. According to the report, Apple has 48 hours to change the message, which AppAdvice first published on Friday, Oct. 26. The rewrite was demanded by Samsung, who complained, “the statement Apple had posted did not comply with the court order.” Michael Beloff QC, who represents Apple, said that the company felt that the message was fine. In colorful terms, he explained:
It's not designed to punish. It's not designed to make us grovel. The only purpose must be to dispel commercial uncertainty.Although Beloff requested Apple be given 14 days to change the message, Lord Justice Longmore disagreed, and stated:
We are just amazed that you cannot put the right notice up at the same time as you take the other one down.Samsung complained that Apple’s message was “inaccurate and misleading” because it added comments about other rulings in the Germany and the U.S. that “had gone in the iPad-maker’s favor.” Apple now has 24 hours to remove the message, and then an additional 24 hours to post a new one. Here is the complete posting, as it currently reads on Apple’s website:
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.Am I the only one that thinks that this is getting ridiculous?