Judge: Apple must publicly state Samsung didn't copy iPad

Summary:Apple has been told by a U.K. judge that it must publicly admit -- online and in newspapers -- that Samsung's tablets did not infringe the iPad's design following an earlier ruling.

The Apple vs. Samsung patent war just scooped in a whole boatload of crazy. 

A U.K. judge has told Apple it must publicize a notice on both its U.K. website and in British newspapers stating that it had lost a case against Samsung in which the rival tablet maker did not infringe the iPad's design in its range of Galaxy products. 

The notice, which should explain the outcome of a U.K. court hearing on July 9, should be published to make it clear that Samsung did not break U.K. law, despite varied results in more than a dozen separate patent cases that stretch across four different continents.

To add insult to injury, Apple must leave the notice on its website for up to six months from its first publication date, Judge Colin Birss said today, following on from his final judgment nearly two weeks ago.

While the order was not mentioned in Birss' judgment, the matter was discussed in court afterwards. 

But Birss denied Samsung's attempt to force Apple to stop saying that the Galaxy tablet had infringed its design rights, reports Bloomberg, claiming Apple was "entitled to their opinion" that the judgment handed down was not correct. 

One of the key elements to the ongoing patent cases is that Samsung "slavishly" copied the design of the iPad following its release. Samsung has always maintained that it had not, despite suffering temporary sales injunctions elsewhere in the world.

The U.K. High Court in London previously ruled that Samsung tablets were not as "cool" as Apple's iPad and therefore did not infringe Apple's iPad patents. Samsung walked away able to sell its Galaxy tablets in British stores -- despite an embarrassing blow to the reputation of its products, and Apple came out with a bloodied nose and no sales injunction in hand, something it had sought in court.

The "advertisement" for Samsung is an attempt by the court to help the Korea-based technology giant to recoup much of its bad publicity brought by Apple in Britain. But a lawyer representing Cupertino said it would be "prejudicial" to Apple to issue such a statement, which even under quirky British law is a somewhat unusual punishment to dish out.

Apple may appeal, but the company did not respond to questions at the time of writing. Samsung also wasn't available for comment.

Image credit: Apple.

Topics: Apple, Government : UK, Legal, Patents, Samsung

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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