Feeds

British judge: Say you're sorry Apple... this time like you MEAN it

Smackdown for surly 8-yr-old style Samsung copy statement

Apple was told to apologise properly to Samsung by three British judges at the UK Court of Appeals this morning. Judge Robin Jacob reprimanded Apple for putting up an "incorrect" and "non-compliant" statement about the patent lawsuit and said it had 48 hours to publish a better one.

In line with a court order from July, Apple published a statement on its UK homepage saying that Samsung had not in fact infringed one of its registered iPad designs.

But Apple's six-paragraph ramble posted on 26 October was not compliant with the court order, ruled Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Kitchin and Sir Robin Jacob. Apple's "apology" included several digs at Samsung - quotes from the judge saying that Samsung's fondleslab is "not as cool" as the iPad, a mention of favourable judgments of other patent lawsuits between the two in other countries and, finally, the closing assertion that "Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad".

Judge Jacob said:

I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this. That is a plain breach of the order.

This time the judges also specified font size 11 for the website announcement.

Apple protested that it wanted 14 days to make the changes. Bloomberg reports that Judge Jacob kicked the suggestion out of the courtroom.

“I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit setting out the technical difficulties which means Apple can’t put this on their site," Jacob said. “I just can’t believe the instructions you’ve been given. This is Apple. They cannot put something on their website?”

This very public humiliation for Apple by the UK courts is unprecedented says Khurram Aziz, news editor at Intellectual Property Magazine.

It was already an unprecedented decision by the UK Court of Appeal to force Apple to put a statement on its website saying that its rival Samsung does not infringe the design of its iPad. Defendants which have lost a patent case have had to do this before, but this was the first time a plaintiff which failed to win the litigation has had to release such a statement.

The fact that the judges weren’t happy with Apple’s first statement and are asking it to immediately replace it with a much more strongly worded message, shows just how damaging they believe Apple’s suit against Samsung could have been.

Aziz suggests that the judges may have considered that patent lawsuits could confuse consumers, and decided that robust statements are needed to clear that confusion up. Apple's original statement was not considered to be robust.

Apple's mention of the German court ruling took it into murky territory, as the UK court decision should have been binding for the European Community area, as detailed by Judge Birss here.

Apple told us it had no comment on the matter. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.