Apple slams Samsung on its U.K. website after court ruling

Apple slams Samsung on its U.K. website after court ruling

Summary: The iPhone and iPad maker has issued an 'advert' on its website, following a U.K. High Court ruling earlier this year, in which Apple slams ten bells out of Samsung, its arch-rival in the tablet space.

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A week after Apple lost an appeal at the U.K. High Court, forcing the iPhone and iPad maker to serve up an 'advert' on its U.K. home page, Apple has followed through with the court's request.

But Apple didn't go down fighting, and took one chunky bite out of Samsung in the process.

On October 18, a U.K. High Court appeals judge ruled that Samsung did not infringed Apple's design patents in the U.K., following an earlier ruling by Judge Colin Birss claiming that Samsung tablets were not as "cool" as the iPad's design.

As a result, Birss originally ruled that Apple must run so-called "advertisements" on its U.K. website and a number of U.K. printed publications, stating that Samsung did not infringe Apple's patents, and therefore did not break U.K. law.

It was ruled that the notice must stay on Apple's site for a period no less than one month (PDF) in order to "correct the damaging impression" left by Apple's suit.

Apple applied for a stay on the ruling, which it was granted, but lost the appeal last week. 

Apple went ahead and changed its U.K. home page this morning to include a small link at the bottom of the page, titled: "Samsung/Apple UK judgment."

The results are not pretty, at least for Samsung.

Apple managed to turn the "advertisement" for Samsung and successfully spin it round to make it look as though it smelt of freshly plucked flowers, at least in the United Kingdom. Apple noted that its products were "cool," a direct quote from the judge in the original case, compared to the Samsung Galaxy tablets, and carefully selected the excerpt from the judgment for publication. At the same time, Apple also noted what was said about its rival Samsung tablets in the judgment. 

However, the final two paragraphs of the statement are most telling. 

Apple notes that a case in Germany regarding the same patent found Samsung was "copying" the iPad design. The same in the U.S, where Apple was awarded more than $1 billion in damages. The killer blow is right before your eyes, when Apple compared the U.K. case to other cases around the world:

The statement read: "Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad." 

The message can be read in full here. Note the final paragraph as where the final, swift kick to Samsung's nether regions is delivered:

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.

Topics: Apple, iPad, Legal, Samsung, Tablets, United Kingdom

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36 comments
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  • Apple needs to stop patent trolling and start innovating

    If Apple was in anyway sincere about the truth in this disgraceful note, they would list all the lawsuits that they have LOST against Samsung (which have been the majority of them around the world) instead of just mentioning the US case which is being reviewed and their case in Germany which ended up being dismissed on appeal.

    Further, perhaps they should mention that the US Patent Office just voided 20 of their patents including ones which were cited in the US case? Yes, that's right, so basically that US judgment is invalid now since Apple should have never been awarded those patents in the first place.

    And really, trying to patent IDEAS like "rounded corners" is really sad coming from a company that once not only believed in competing with technology in the marketplace rather than in the courtroom, and which the company's entire success was due to innovations from others (GUI and mouse from Xerox, MP3 player from Creative, smartphone from Palm and LG, and tablet PC from Microsoft and Mitsubishi).

    In fact, Apple has not invented a SINGLE innovation from which they have launched their product lines. The only thing they have done is to package innovations and inventions by other companies into a more consumer-friendly product backed by brilliant marketing and promotion.
    buckustoothnail
    • Yeah, right...

      You would think Samsung would try to make even the wall adapters and the packaging a little different but no...
      rfoto
      • Apple just lost its rubber banding patent

        Because of prior art, and the way things are going, it won't have much to fight with. This alone proves who is at fault.
        Uralbas
    • Apple innovated, Samsung willfully copied.

      That's why they were sued. Instead of creating their own unique designs and innovations early on, they chose to clone Apple's instead. It is within Apple's right to defend against such blatant thievery.
      dave95.
      • The judge says you're wrong, so you're wrong...

        ...end of story. You may rant and rave about thievery, but whether something indeed consitutes "theft" or any other offense is decided by courts, not by fanboys.
        hydroxide
    • Apple is innovating. Samsung copies and should be stopped

      Apple is innovating. Samsung then slavishly copies Apple. Either Samsung has to be stopped or Samsung has to pay license fees to Apple. Simple.

      Samsung = Evil Copyist
      Gnusmas = Devil in Korean.
      jameskatt
      • Nice trolling...

        ...now how about you stop parroting the Apple marketing department and stick to the law?
        hydroxide
      • Apple is innovating. Samsung copies and should be stopped

        Interesting! are you aware that a Frenchman actually was behind the I technology , which then evolve into the entire line from Iphone to Ipad , the guy actually had a prototype running years ago but everyone was thinkling key board , they also had computerized tablet in Hospital long beffore any Ipad . Apple today is a combination of aquisition not invention . like it or not it is factual.
        BuyAmerican
  • Contempt?

    Surely this is verging on contempt of court! It's blatantly going against the 'spirit' of the judgement. Seems like they just think they're bigger (and cleverer) than the law.
    sferson
    • Just because you don't like the truth?

      Everything in Apple's statement is factual. There is nothing in it "blatantly going against the 'spirit' of the judgement".

      The information provided gives background and support to how the requirement for the apology came about. This apology meets all of the requirements of the requirement, and definitely does not imply that Apple "think they're bigger (and cleverer) than the law".

      You seem upset that this factual information is there, but reality cannot be changed just because it distresses you.
      Harvey Lubin
      • Factual? Maybe. Relevant? No. Misleading? Definitely

        Yes, it definitely does imply that Apple think they are bigger than the law. At least as far as UK law is concerned. The US judgment is not final, as such it cannot be used as a basis of what has been legally found to be true at all. What's worse, the judgment didn't even find the Galaxy Tab to be infringing. The statement doesn't say so, but definitely wants to create that impression. But either way, any US judgment is devoid of any relevance, since the US is the US and the UK is the UK and laws differ - and as far as patent law is concerned, they differ considerably.

        So pointing out a US court found this and that is trying to qualify a judgment you don't like with irrelevancy. As far as the legal situation in the UK is concerned, the US judgment is about as relevant as a sheet of toilet paper.

        The German decision is a bit more relevant, since both the UK and Germany are covered by EU patent law. But the UK case is not only the older one, it is also the higher court one. So it is again irrelevant, because the UK court considered the decision of the German court but found it to be erroneous. In no way does the German decision imply in any way that the UK High Court was wrong.

        Thus pointing at these two decisions is suggesting that they should be paid more attention to. That's nothing shourt of rejecting the jurisdiction of the UK High Court because it produced a verdict they didn't like.
        hydroxide
      • I disagree...

        "This apology meets all of the requirements of the requirement, and definitely does not imply that Apple "think they're bigger (and cleverer) than the law"."

        It may meet the minimum requirement, but definitely takes a left turn after meeting the minimum. Most of what you say is true, except that Apple does not think itself above the law. It does. They're a lot more MS than you'd care to admit.
        Badgered
  • Bitter corporation

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/26/apple_ceo_cook_calls_microsoft_surface_compromised_and_confusing/
    Tim Acheson
    • Honesty hurts

      Not "bitter" at all. Cook was just being objective and honest.

      Seeking Alpha has coverage of "Scenes From Microsoft's Packed Times Square Surface Launch".

      Most people they spoke with in line were there for the free "swag" Microsoft was giving away.

      This sentence near the end of the article tell it like it is:
      "Here's the kicker though: none of the people who waited in line for so long actually walked out the door with a Surface in their hands."
      Harvey Lubin
    • Yeah, and at one point the Apple CEO also said....

      ...that 7" tablets are just the wrong form factor, that 10" tablets are much better, and that apple will never make anything that follows the competition.

      Of course, how soon we forget.
      rock06r
  • Fake apology

    Apple could not manage a simple apology. They had to dilute it to such an extent that it becomes a hollow sorry and a bitter outburst.
    Tim Acheson
    • It wasn't a fake apology. There was no apology involved.

      The U.K. Judge ordered this publication and what the minimum points that this publication had to address. Apple did so.

      Get over it, Tim.
      kenosha77a
  • Apple hates Britain

    Apple demonstrates pathological arrogance and self-righteousness, and profound contempt for the law in Britain.
    Tim Acheson
  • Apple may receive kick

    British Judges do not like such blatant disregard for their ruling. If Samsung takes matter back to same court, Apple may find their humour disappear. Court may find this as contempt of court and severely punish.
    p.vinnie@...
    • Apple may receive kick

      Totally agree , the britt have also a great sense of humour in these cases !
      BuyAmerican