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Advertising The Courts United Kingdom Apple

In UK, Apple Must Run Ad Apologizing to Samsung 190

Posted by timothy
from the grovel-different dept.
sfcrazy writes "Apple has lost is appeal in a UK court against Samsung's Galaxy Tab. The court of appeals has upheld its previous judgment that Samsung did not infringe on any Apple design. According to the order Apple will have to run an ads in leading UK newspapers as well its own website stating that Samsung did not infringes its products. To ensure that the ad is visible the court also ordered that the text of the ad must not be in a font size smaller than Ariel 14. Apple will have to run the ad on its site for a period of one month."
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In UK, Apple Must Run Ad Apologizing to Samsung

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  • This is why (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aglider (2435074) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:02AM (#41691509) Homepage
    Britannia rules!
    • Re:This is why (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:18AM (#41691659) Homepage

      Apple brought it on themselves. They went around making these untrue claims and now the court is telling them to undo that damage. Restorative justice.

    • Re:This is why (Score:4, Informative)

      by jkrise (535370) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:21AM (#41691681) Journal

      Yes. Not only the customers, even the judges (I'm thinking about you, Lucy Koh) are not complete idiots in the UK.

    • brave, brave sir robin!

      (go rtfa)

    • by grenadeh (2734161)
      I think I should move to England where there is apparently still sanity left in the world.
      • I strongly suspect that Richard O'Dwyer [wikipedia.org] would disagree with you. If sanity were the reigning force, then extradition to the US for commiting, in England, something that is not, in England, a crime, in England, where he lives and has always lived, but pisses off a corporate exec or two in the US.

  • The ruling itself (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ais523 (1172701) <ais523(524\)(525)x)@bham.ac.uk> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:03AM (#41691531)
    I just came here after finishing reading the ruling itself, [2012] EWCA Civ 1339 [bailii.org]. I find UK legalese rather easier to read than US legalese (not being a lawyer), and it's interestingly informal in some parts. It's also quite informative (the judges pointed out specifically which differences they found to be relevant, such as the iPad's registered design being intentionally symmetrical, and the Galaxy Tab having an obvious intended orientation due to the addition of the word "SAMSUNG").
  • Ariel? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Never heard of that font...

    • Re:Ariel? (Score:4, Informative)

      by scdeimos (632778) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:17AM (#41691651)
      It's a typo in the linked story. Item 64 of the ruling specifies Arial 11pt and Arial 14pt for particular things: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html [bailii.org]
    • Obviously its part of the Comic Sans family :)
    • by KritonK (949258)
      It is a very small font. At 14pt, it looks like this: ______________
    • Re:Ariel? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Desler (1608317) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:30AM (#41691785)

      Maybe it's the font of the Little Mermaid?

    • Re:Ariel? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DickBreath (207180) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:35AM (#41691843) Homepage
      The court should have specified the size in relation to other important elements on the web page.

      It must be the larger of:
      1. at least half the size of the largest headlines, Apple branding, or product names
      2. twice the size of the smallest headlines, Apple branding, or product names

      That sort of specification helps eliminate creative interpretations of the court's order.

      Of course if the court considers its order to have been violated, there can always be sanctions. A just sanction would be to re-impose the requirement of running the ad, all over again from the start, with new conditions attached. Oh, and pay the court a fine that doubles each day until the new ad meets the court's orders. Now how long do you want to play creative interpretation with the court's orders?

      In short, courts don't generally take kindly to creative interpretation of their orders. We'll see how creative Apple wants to be with the "Aerial 14 point font". Just run the ad and get it over with.

      Yes, your honor, but that DIV element had a zoom CSS rule applied. I hope that would go about as well as: Your honor! I wasn't texting while driving, I was updating my facebook status about these new shoes I just bought!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ariel [wikipedia.org] is a character from a Shakespeare play so I can understand why the Brits like it. The alternative was maybe the Prospero [fonts101.com] font.

      Actually Ariel is also (almost) a font [rofls.com], pun of a Disney character [wikipedia.org].

  • But what UNIT of 14, hmm? Atoms might be a tempting choice, if I was in their shoes...
    • by P-niiice (1703362)
      Ariel 14(electron diameters)
    • by Zemran (3101)

      I would love to see Apple try that as it would be a clear contempt of court. Any attempt to defend it would be likely to insult the judge even more and get more damages against them. Lets see some heads roll :-D

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:11AM (#41691601)

    The apology message will render like wingding symbols for most...

    • by Revotron (1115029) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:16AM (#41691639)
      So, it would look like the Slashdot logo?
      • by hAckz0r (989977)
        Well, you could always substitute with that image and see who notices.

        After all, I'm sure Apple Legal will find a real prominent place for it on their site. Like perhaps two levels down in the legal section of their store's website where of course everybody goes daily for the latest boring Apple legal news, such as any recent boring changes to your EULA , right? Thus putting it on slashdot, for say 10 minutes, will likely get 10,000% more web hits.

        • by Gonoff (88518)
          They not only have to do what the court has said. They also have to do it to the courts satisfaction. Too much creative fardling about and they will have to try again and possibly deal with a contempt of court action as well.
    • by arielCo (995647)

      It's not the size of the install base that counts, but how well you serve their needs, you insensitive clod !

      -- arielCo

    • by JTsyo (1338447)
      Only mermaids will see it?
  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:14AM (#41691617) Homepage

    To ensure that the ad is visible the court also ordered that the text of the ad must not be in a font size smaller than Ariel 14. Apple will have to run the ad on its site for a period of one month.

    the court forgot to specify that Apple could not use the same text & background colours!

    Apple did win a concession: they were originally ordered to have it on the web site for 6 months, this was reduced to 1 month.

    • by na1led (1030470)
      The AD must be visible, I'm sure that includes a distinct Text Color against the background. Even though it's reduced to 1 month, the news will spread all over which will have a much bigger impact.
    • They also forgot to mention what language to write it in.
      I would suggest using Whitespace encoding (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitespace_(programming_language)).

      • They also forgot to mention what language to write it in.
        I would suggest using Whitespace encoding (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitespace_(programming_language)).

        Nah, I say have some fun, write it in Mycenaean Linear B...

  • by davydagger (2566757) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:16AM (#41691629)
    This is awesome, but I'd never expect this in a million years

    this needs to happen in the US as well.

    Next Steve Ballmer needs to apologize to Linux Tovalds for calling his works a "virus"
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Tangential (266113)
      And Michael Dell should apologize for his statements that Apple should "shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders".
    • Steve Ballmer needs to apologize to Linux Tovalds for calling his works a "virus"

      How about calling Linux a cancer. Something about it spreading to everything it touches and destroying intellectual property. Or Jim Allchin saying that open source is dangerous and that legislators need to be educated about the danger.

      Microsoft and now Apple seem to think: It's not merely enough for us to succeed. Everyone else must fail!

      • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:09AM (#41692153)

        Microsoft and now Apple seem to think: It's not merely enough for us to succeed. Everyone else must fail!

        nah, that's just modern western capitalism. all companies strive for that, in fact.

        it really is a cold world out there, when its a 'survival of the fittest' in the cruel and amoral business world.

      • by SvnLyrBrto (62138) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:10AM (#41693051)

        Eh?

        An inherent part of competition and an inherent part of winning *IS* that your opponent loses. It's not just Microsoft and Apple, and it's not just in business. Video games, sports, card and casino games, the courtroom elections... the ideal outcomes all involve a clear winner and a clear loser.

        In how many sports do the teams play to tie? Hay many sports don't have some sort of overtime to fix a tie at the end of regulation play?

        Do you thing Google *does't* want to boot-stomp Bing into the dirt? Do you think they *don't* want gmail to crush hotmail?

        Obama and Romney can't BOTH be elected president, come November.

        Hell... even the very court case we're discussing is an example.... Samsung won, Apple lost.

    • by hAckz0r (989977)

      Next Steve Ballmer needs to apologize to Linux Tovalds for calling his works a "virus"

      Don't hold your breath. And actually, come to think of it, Linux is sort of like a virus. Once it worked its way onto my first Windows machine I just could not seem to get rid of it. At this point its infected almost every machine in my household. Isn't that sort of the definition of a virus?

      In fact, there is only one machine in the household that has withstood the onslaught to date, Thats because it apparently has this really great anti-virus (anti-Linux) security product called Office. Apparently, by

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      It's more likely that Torvalds will apoligize for calling Nvidia fuckers, or fucking idiots, or whatever it was.

      And that will never happen.

  • Unique? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jythie (914043) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:18AM (#41691663)
    Crap, it ate my first comment.... ok, trying again.

    I am curious, if anyone knows, how common of a stipulation is this in the UK? This is the first I have heard about such a thing. If it is not common (which I suspect) I wonder what made this particular case worthy of it... did the judge hate Apple? Did Samsung have someone with political clout in their pocket?

    While it was high profile and fed into the technie anti-Apple attitude, this really was not an outrageous case by a long shot. If nothing else it was a trial between equals, two companies that had the experience and resources to go through with it.. neither is really all that deserving of a special apology or shaming. Where are the court mandated apologies from transnationals that use their armies of lawyers to crush smaller opponents by bankrupting them with legal costs? Where are the court mandated apologies from patent trolls that prey on companies too small to even have a legal team and have to 'settle' to be left alone? Where are the apologies from companies that use local political leverage to twist the laws around their business and make the environment inhospitable to competition? Seems there is a long list of apologies that should happen before this joke.
    • by Zemran (3101)

      I would assume that at some point Samsung counter sued, claiming that the suit was malicious and caused damage (i.e. costs) to Samsung. That is fairly common in the UK. I have done that in a court case but I was awarded money. As the counter suit becomes part of Apple's original suit the cost of a counter suit is negligible and in my case I was really happy when they took me to court as it meant that I could counter sue for free when I would not have been able to afford to sue them if they had not instig

    • by ais523 (1172701)

      This sort of thing happens quite a lot in the UK, it's one of the more common outcomes to civil libel cases in my experience. (I heard of something like this happening to someone locally, who made a statement that was found to be libellous, and was forced to take out advertisements to retract it.) The judge actually discussed "publicity orders" in the ruling, and pointed out that the laws in question expressly suggested them as part of the typical punishment when there had been infringement (although not th

    • Re:Unique? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Xest (935314) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:53AM (#41692783)

      It's normal, it's just rare that you have a company quite as prominent as Apple making such an idiotic claim in the first place.

      This sort of thing usually affects smaller fly by night companies that are basically either trying to increase marketshare by lying, or generally just trying to swindle customers, or troll competitors.

      IIRC a relatively recent example though that was a bit more prominent was one of the UK's major supermarkets (Tesco I think?) being forced to advertise that their prices weren't whatever percentage cheaper they claimed they were than their competitors.

      We do have somewhat of a culture of it generally though, every once in a while before a TV programme starts you will see a statement by the broadcaster apologising for something they broadcast that was unfair or incorrect because they'd been found to be lying/exagerating and creating a false impression about someone or something they were supposedly providing a factual documentary about. When they are forced to make such apologies they're generally forced to make them at the start/end of the same timeslot in which they made the original misrepresentation. So if they defame someone unfairly in prime time for example, then they'll be expected to publicly apologise in the same prime time slot.

    • by mattsday (909414)

      It's written in the judgement, section 84:

      "Apple itself must (having created the confusion) make the position clear: that it acknowledges that the court has decided that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design. The acknowledgement must come from the horse's mouth. Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely."

      The judge took believed Apple deserved it because they had to lean up the mess they created. The judgement (http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html) i

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      The goal of the civil legal system in the UK is to restore the way things were before the harm was done. If you are injured and claim compensation you can expect to get the cost of undoing or mitigating your injuries, as far as it is possible to do so. If you need a few months off work you get your salary for that period, for example.

      In this case the judge as seen that Apple made some very public statements that damaged Samsung's reputation and is seeking to reverse that damage. This sort of thing is quite

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:21AM (#41691689) Homepage

    Assuming they meant "Arial", isn't that particular font family Windows-only? Just some additional insult to injury that they didn't specify "Helvetica".

    • by durrr (1316311)

      They should've specified comic sans in rainbow colours, font 50, as a splash screen to the apple UK site that appears like a pre-article ad that is unremovable for 15 seconds.
      With the sound of sirens accompanying it.

    • At least the summary does not state that they have to use Ariel. They are just using it as a basepoint to tell how big the font must be (as font type is a huge factor in actual size)

    • Assuming they meant "Arial", isn't that particular font family Windows-only?

      and, here I am, thinking it was a reference to a fish with tits.

    • by ais523 (1172701)
      Microsoft owns the font, IIRC, but they've distributed Linux and Mac versions of it in the past, under free-as-in-beer licenses, and it's pretty easy to get a copy of it if you want to as a result, because the licenses don't expire. (It's even in the non-free repositories of several Linux distros; Ubuntu calls it ttf-mscorefonts-installer, for instance. As well as Arial, you get Times New Roman, Courier New, Verdana, Georgia, Trebuchet, Andale Mono, and even Webdings and Comic Sans.)
  • by na1led (1030470) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:24AM (#41691727)
    Now that Apple has been slapped down for lying, it might put an end to all the BS with these patent infringements.
  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:39AM (#41691865)
    I am not an Apple fan, but since the judge himsef said at that [bbc.co.uk] Samsung's devices were not as "cool" because they lacked Apple's "extreme simplicity" I think Apple can come up with an apology that will not hurt. I imagine they will apologise for "overestimating the Samsung device but now rightly see that it lacks the superiour design aspects of the iPad".
    • by NatasRevol (731260) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:10AM (#41692165) Journal

      Apple will definitely go down this road.

      The judge gave clear language on how to display the apology, but not on what the apology should entail.

      Something like:

      "We apologize for implying that any Samsung product was as sleek or as easy to use as the (link to ipad page)Apple iPad.(\link)"

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        Which would probably just land them back in court, facing even worse penalties. The court is not dumb and its intent is very clear.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Apple will definitely go down this road.

        The judge gave clear language on how to display the apology, but not on what the apology should entail.

        Something like:

        "We apologize for implying that any Samsung product was as sleek or as easy to use as the (link to ipad page)Apple iPad.(\link)"

        And then be held in contempt of court. The courts in the UK take a very dim view of this kind of thing.

        I actually want to see Apple try something like this, whenever they get smacked down in court I get a warm fuzzy feeling.

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      They specified the wording as follows:

      On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited's Galaxy Tablet Computers, 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 [link given].

      That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on .. A copy of the Court of Appeal's judg

    • That will work about as well as Microsoft "get the facts" campaign which just was free advertising for Linux and good advertising, because Linux must be really good to have MS so worried about it.

      The top dog NEVER does negative advertising on its smaller competitors, at best you just look pathetic and at worst, everyone will check out your competitor to see what got you running scared.

  • Simple Design (Score:5, Insightful)

    by morgauxo (974071) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:47AM (#41691945)
    "The judge actually criticized Samsung's design by stating that they 'do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design.'"

    Ever since the first iPods became popular I haven't understood this obsession with simplicity. I do get it that there are more non-geeks than geeks out there and that the non-geeks don't want to have to work to learn how to use anything. Still.. I want my stuff to actually do something, doesn't everyone? How can it be easier to accomplish a task of a certain complexity with fewer and fewer controls? For example, going back to MP3 players, if I want to pick a playlist from my music collection of just the songs I am in the mood for at this time how do I do this with just one rotating control? I'm guessing what is really happening is that people have a low expectation of what their devices should do but also don't have the imagination to realize that expectation is low

    What I really don't get is that the rest of the industry just tries to copy it rather than attack it. Yes, Apple has a huge market of simplicity hungry people with money to spend. Guess what... imitate that simplicity, through copying or through your own desings and you still aren't Apple! Nobody is going to out Apple Apple because even if you do the inertia is all Apple's anyway.

    Instead, why hasn't anybody tried building the market for non simlistic devices? I can imagine there being some pretty great marketing campaign opportunities in that. For example.. how about a commercial where a hipster looking guy is showing off his shiny new car with it's sexy extreme simplicity elegance to his friends and the girl he obviously wants to impress. It's so simple, there is just one button. He presses the button and the car promply crashes because there is no wheel to steer it! At the end you hear an announcer say "Android - because it's not TOO simple" or some similar but more polished tag line.
    • by Dr. Evil (3501)

      Apple has a lot of contrived simplicity. Sacrificing functionality for form.

      I'd like to see more companies trashing Apple over this. Microsoft seems to be doing some interesting work minimalizing UIs, getting rid of stupid drop-shadows and 3d effects. Stripping out cruft from design is good. Stripping out badly implemented features is good. Polishing UIs is good... but there are limits.

      lack of ports, lack of removable batteries, magnetic connectors, highly proprietary ports, these are all bad desig

      • Re:Simple Design (Score:5, Informative)

        by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent,jan,goh&gmail,com> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:42AM (#41693479) Homepage

        Wait, why are the magnetic connectors bad? Everyone should have those. They solve a problem--accidentally snagging a cable and dragging stuff onto the ground--that's a REAL problem, with a really great design. (It's not Apple's idea, BTW. Hot grease cookers and hot water dispensers have had this for ages for similar reasons.)

        I see someone pull their headphones onto the ground at my office literally 5 or 6 times a day. It's a dumb problem, but it's so common. It's the same reason why the XBox has a break-away cable.

        • by Dr. Evil (3501)

          I'd like to preserve the battery life on my older Macbook battery by removing the battery and stashing it in my drawer. Trouble is, that magnetic connector means I can't do that without risking data loss.

          I've used barrel plugs for years on Thinkpads and I've never had a problem. They're cheaper, don't attract dimes, staples or paperclips, more durable, and less prone to accidental removal. I never tripped on a laptop power cord, nor has anyone tripped on my cord in a cafe or hacking session.

          The end r

          • Huh, I must never have seen the design that you're talking about. I have a MacBook in the house with a magnetic cord connector, and the battery is independently removable. And (seriously, since I clearly don't understand) how does that impact data loss?

            I've seen two laptops with damaged barrel power connectors, and that's an expensive problem to fix if you have it. I honestly think this design with the magnets is better, notwithstanding any problems that you appear to be having.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          Wait, why are the magnetic connectors bad? Everyone should have those.

          Yes, they should. Apple's patents are bullshit, as you say Japanese kitchen appliance manufacturers invented them to stop people pulling their deep fat fryers off the worktop. Merely translating that to use it on a laptop is not novel or innovative.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        The most annoying thing I find is that they insist on making the UI look like the old physical device it replaces. A calendar app looks like a calendar, even if that reduces functionality. Give me a proper UI any day, I can cope with it.

        • If it's any consolation, rumour has it there's extreme disagreement over the usage of this (called skeuomorphism) even within Apple's employees, extending all the way up to some very senior-level staff. Steve Jobs obviously favoured it, else it never would've gotten such a foothold in Mac OS X Lion. Not to mention the idiotic volume wheel in the original Quicktime 4 Player.

    • Well, think of it in terms of code, or proofs. The most elegant designs from any perspective are those that solve the essential problem without extraneous bits.

      You could argue that Apple has perhaps gone too far in terms of simplicity or minimalism--that's a pretty subjective choice--but in most cases, it does actually solve the problem of interacting with the device effectively, and does so with the least clutter.

      I'd rather see code that solves the problem at hand quickly and efficiently (and maintainably-

    • Oh, it's even easier. You just show people using their computers with only a mouse while having to hold the screen up with the other hand. After three seconds, when the obvious moronity strikes the audience, you show a pure touchscreen phone, and a voice ask "Who ever came up with such a stupid idea?"

      Then, maybe, we could get our portable computers with some decent input devices...
  • by EvilSS (557649) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:56AM (#41692031)
    "We're Sorry. We thought that Samsung had copied our patented design, but according to a ruling by a court of law, Samsung's devices have been found to not be cool enough to be considered copies of ours. We sincerely apologize to Samsung and their uncool products." In 32 point font on the front page.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      And then get fined 10% of EU revenue for contempt of court and continuing to traduce the good name of Samsung that they were ordered to reverse earlier.

      This would not be a good move.

    • The text of the message Apple must display has been spelled out by the court, so Apple has no creative freedom in posting its own interpretation.

      • by idontgno (624372)

        Apple has no creative freedom in posting its own interpretation.

        That's good. Otherwise the ad would go like "Dear Samsung, We're sorry... that you're a thieving skiving copycat poopyhead. Love, Apple."

  • This makes me think of those pet-shaming photos that seem to be making their rounds on the internet lately. Is it going to be a picture of an apple with a sign around it saying "I made a mockery of the judicial system."?

  • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:32AM (#41692499) Journal

    He who lives by the silly lawsuit, shall die by the silly lawsuit.

    It's not just a defeat but a humiliating defeat. Good. (I like and use Apple products but they deserved to lose this one).

  • by magpie (3270)
    It would have been so much better if the judge had specified comic sans 24 pt.
  • Way to put on the richly deserved smackdown.

Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images. -- Jean Cocteau

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