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Handhelds The Courts Apple Hardware

Apple Posts Non-Apology To Samsung 413

Posted by Soulskill
from the we're-sorry-we're-so-much-cooler-than-you dept.
We recently discussed news of a UK court ruling in which the judge decided Apple must publicly acknowledge that Samsung's Galaxy Tab did not infringe upon the iPad's design, both on the Apple website and in several publications. The acknowledgement has now been posted, and it's anything but apologetic. It states the court's ruling, helpfully referring to "Apple's registered design No. 000018607-0001," and quotes the judges words as an advertisement. The judge wrote, "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." They go on to mention German and U.S. cases which found in Apple's favor. Apple's statement concludes, "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."
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Apple Posts Non-Apology To Samsung

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  • by raydobbs (99133) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#41777559) Homepage Journal

    ...like what they'd do to NORMAL people when we spit in the face of the judge with our restitution... likely to happen? Nope. Sad, really. They really really deserve it.

  • by Viewsonic (584922) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:20AM (#41777631)

    Depends on the judge. I think it is safe to say that if a judge went out of his way to have Apple post something like this publicly, and they spat in his face, there is going to be hell to pay. This doesn't seem like your run of the mill judge, and Apple should have known this from the verdict decision.

  • Don't Care (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:21AM (#41777637)
    Court ordered apologies are stupid. Good for Apple to show contempt for them. Doesn't make their patent good. Their patents are still stupid.
  • Contempt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:22AM (#41777659)
    Apple using extremely selective quotes from the judge to spend the whole 'apology' badmouthing Samsung is questionable enough but the section at the bottom is basically saying "but ignore this judge, These two courts are more important and found them guilty". That's going to piss the judge off, judges never like their authority being undermined.

    The judgment wasn't cast iron law, it doesn't matter if you follow it to the letter if the judge clearly believes you're not following the spirit of a judgement. The judge clearly would not have wanted Apple to give the impression that the judge endorsed Apple's products.
  • Re:Contempt? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NatasRevol (731260) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:29AM (#41777789) Journal

    So, using the judge's own words is now contempt?

    You might want to think that through a little further.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:31AM (#41777813)

    No, they're been arseholes. You know it, I know it and the general public knows it.

    It doesn't matter how many apologists try to justify it on Slashdot, the simple fact is that Apple chose to take a mean-spirited approach.

  • Re:Contempt? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abigsmurf (919188) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:39AM (#41777915)
    Yes.

    The reason Apple were made to do this apology in the first place was because they put out PR material that misled consumers over the court proceedings. To then, in the apology use selective quotes that distort the nature of the ruling again... You can be sure the judge won't look kindly at it.

    A judges ruling is not a cast iron contract where following it to the letter is all that matter, the "spirit" of the ruling is key and Apple are willfully going against it.
  • by EasyTarget (43516) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:39AM (#41777925) Journal

    "beware of the OS X Leopard".

    Class!
    - and come to think of it; Apple fanbois resemble Vogons in so many ways.

  • by TWX (665546) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:48AM (#41778051)
    I made no opinion or statement on their assholishness. In fact, I find the entire idea that someone can patent a touchescreen with some processing capability in a housing with a battery to be stupid. We have prior art in the form of fictional TV shows definitely showing this stuff to us in the eighties (IE, Star Trek:TNG's "PADD") and we had a series of convertible tablet PCs in the late nineties and early naughties that had similar functionality with albeit heftier components. I don't look on the iPad as anything more than one of many incrementally evolutionary devices in a series of ever-improving handhelds.

    If I were the judge, I would have found that Samsung did not infringe on Apple because of prior art, not because of any subjective view like what's considered cool.
  • by AdmV0rl0n (98366) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:51AM (#41778085) Homepage Journal

    My rough take on this, and one Apple should probably absorb globally, is that legal cases are what they are. If you are going to cry publicly that others are not following the 'law' - you don't really gain much from then being a jackass in cases where its been found you are wrong. Why now should Samsung behave in result of a ruling? If all make mockey of the process, then where does it lead.

    No, Apple need to be pulled back in court and to be hammered. Double hammered. And then hammered some more. Seems a deliberate and stupid attempt to deviate from the nature and spirit of the ruling laid down on them. This isn't marketing. This is a legal case. Trying to unleash the marketing idiots on it is a mistake, and is erroneous.

    Jobs in his younger days - pretty much stated that he stole everything, every idea, every good design and so on - as far as he could. Thats why he went to Xerox Parc and was so taken with a GUI - the same as Paul Allen - 'one day every computer will use that' - Its sad that in the end - he failed to understand that anyone imitating their work is in a way paying a form of homage to them - and their early spirit. And later it seems legalese and not innovation has become the guiding light. Somewhere - someone got lost.

    Where would Apple be if Xerox (parc) had walked up to early Apple and crushed them in a court case. Where would the innovation be. Its too simplistic really - but you get the point.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:51AM (#41778095)

    Apple chose to take a mean-spirited approach.

    How so? Apple stated all the reference details of the case, including a URL, and quoted the judges exact words. Are you saying the judge was mean-spirited in his assessment? Or do you take exception to Apple pointing out that that other courts around the world took a different view on the matter?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:52AM (#41778099)

    No, they're been arseholes. You know it, I know it and the general public knows it.

    It doesn't matter how many apologists try to justify it on Slashdot, the simple fact is that Apple chose to take a mean-spirited approach.

    All schadenfreude aside, requiring Apple to apologize is strange to put it mildly. Is this the new the norm in UK courts? The party who loses a civil lawsuit must publicly apologize to the other party? How will that work for the rest of us? Will we be required to stamp the apology to our foreheads? Will there be a standard text: "I poor misguided sap dared to sue <insert name of other party> so the judge ordered me to humiliate myself for six months by wearing this text stamped to my forehead to teach me a lesson about seeking redress through the courts." ??

  • by Myrv (305480) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:54AM (#41778127)

    The judges ruling clearly states:

    As a result of his second judgment, Judge Birss ordered that:

            Within seven days of the date of this Order [18th July 2012] [Apple] shall at its own expense (a) post in a font size no smaller than Arial 11pt the notice specified in Schedule 1 to this order on the homepage of its UK website ... as specified in Schedule 1 to this Order, together with a hyperlink to the Judgment of HHJ Birss QC dated 9th July 2012, said notice and hyperlink to remain displayed on [Apple's] websites for a period of six months from the date of this order or until further order of the Court (b) publish in a font size no smaller than Arial 14pt the notice specified in Schedule 1 to this Order on a page earlier than page 6 in the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, Mobile Magazine and T3 magazine.

    And

    The material part of the notice specified in Schedule 1 reads:

            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 [link given]

    The judge specifically spelled out what Apple was suppose to post. Apple didn't follow these instruction by attaching all the other cruft to the ad therefore they haven't fulfilled the court order.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:54AM (#41778129)

    Try fucking with the judge and you and your solicitor are in DEEP SHIT.

  • by bfandreas (603438) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:57AM (#41778175)
    ...and while Samsung and Apple duke it out in court, Asus has quietly perfected its Transformer line to a point where I say that tablets will in the near future replace desktop PCs.

    The sole reason for a beefy PC for me is intensive gaming or intensive software development. I find myself more often not taking my laptop with me on business trips and only bring my Prime. Now they threaten to sell a similar machine with an i7, Win 8(which may or may not suck) and 3 slightly bigger screens. And even if I refuse to go down the Win8 route: the form factor of the Transformers is so perfect that neither Apple or Samsung have anything in store that even remotely interests me.

    The sheer brilliance of having a second battery in the detachable keyboard alone is worth the price. Not needing a protective cover for the screen since the keyboard protects it is clever. Using the keyboard to offer a second data storage is commendable. Having fully featured USB/HDMI ports on the keyboard is useful. It's like carrying your docking station around with you.

    Pity about the GPS, tho. And Android web browsers still suck. Responsiveness is at times sluggish. And it can become awfully warm(not hot). And it has the worst case of Bluetooth lag I have ever encountered. Try watching a movie with Bluetooth headphones and sound and movie will never be in synch. It also is mono. And it is not beefy enough to run the first Dungeon Keeper in Dosbox at a playable frame rate(I could possibly tweak it a bit, tho).

    I forsee that Asus will be heavily copied.
  • by StripedCow (776465) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:58AM (#41778209)

    And this, Apple fanboys, is how Apple will treat you if you ever (consciously or unconsciously) cross Apple's road. Or if Apple decides to cross your road.
    With contempt.

    Draw rounded rectangle on your iPad? Forbidden. Make a successful iOS app? Apple will copy it, and reject your app from the app store.

    It doesn't matter how many iDevices you own, Apple will bite you in the end. And it will make everybody believe that you were the bad guy.

    So please, for your own sake and for ours, get off the bandwagon while you still can.

  • by strength_of_10_men (967050) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:20AM (#41778587)

    This sort of "apology" is the sort of thing I expect from a petulant child and should be corrected swiftly and definitively.

    Didn't the court actually instruct Apple exactly what it should write? Why not just write the notice for Apple and have them post it on their website instead of leaving it up to Apple's lawyers to set the wording?

    However, I still had to LOL after reading it. Apple really has balls as big as its war chest. Bravo, Apple, bravo.

  • Apple DID post those things in the notice. They followed (as near as I can tell, though IANAL) the precise letter of the law. I do not see anywhere anything that says that they must ONLY post the notice specified in Schedule 1. In fact, they posted the stuff they were supposed to at the TOP of the text, not in the middle or anything. You can stop reading after the court-appointed 'apology' and not read any of the rest of the propaganda.

    Listen, I know Apple is getting less popular by the day around here, but they did exactly what they were told to by the courts. If the courts wanted something else, they should have been more specific. Don't tell me that Apple should have gone out of their way to be more apologetic than they were supposed to or they shouldn't have spun this in their favour if they could find it. Specificity in the law is a big deal; contracts have been invalidated on the basis of INDIVIDUAL PUNCTUATION MARKS.

    It is the nature of the laws and the legal system surrounding patents that needs changing, if anything. Every actor in the system will work to the absolute edges of the legal system. Don't tell me that Samsung wouldn't have done the same, given the chance. Or Microsoft. Or even Google, who is less angelic than we like to delude ourselves into believing. It's all a giant game to them; don't expect them to be altruistic or contrite.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:35AM (#41778799)

    We have prior art in the form of fictional TV shows definitely showing this stuff to us in the eighties (IE, Star Trek:TNG's "PADD")

    I find it hilarious that someone feels that a fictional depiction should be used as evidence that the actual manufacturer of a device should not be given credit.

    But by your logic, if I developed faster-than-light travel or instantaneous matter teleportation tomorrow, I would not be entitled to profit from it. It would be perfectly fair for someone to take my design, make it in China for the cost of materials and slave labor, and sell it. For the benefit of humanity, of course; and fuck me for trying to withhold such an advance in human progress for my selfish purposes.

  • by MadKeithV (102058) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:47AM (#41778989)
    Because the wording of the court judgment didn't ask Apple to publish the wording of the court judgment, it asked something else.
  • by jakimfett (2629943) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:52AM (#41779079) Homepage Journal

    No, you missed his point, I do believe. What he's saying is that if someone else had the Idea, you shouldn't be able to patent the Idea and prevent other people from making money by using that Idea.

    Make money? Sure you can make money. Go right ahead. But enough with this bullhucky about "I had the idea of a more or less rectangular device that has curves on it" that Apple has pulled in the last few months. Because that, my friend, is complete and utter idiocy.

  • Re:Contempt? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NatasRevol (731260) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:57AM (#41779137) Journal

    Wow.

    1. They're not out of context. They're entire paragraphs to give context, quoted from the legal proceedings.
    2. Apple cannot countermand any legal order. Only judges can. Since it doesn't seem like you know, it means reverse.
    3. The judge told Apple state Samsung did not infringe Apple's design, which they did. In fact, it's the first sentence.

    So, again, how is that contempt?

  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:01PM (#41779201)

    And then it says that the same thing needs to be posted in a lot of magazines. That's all that Apple was required to do, and near as I can tell, that sentence is the very first one in Apple public statement on their website

    Which is not, one might note, actually on the homepage of their UK website (which is one of its EU websites), which homepage contains neither the notice required by the order to be placed "on the home pages of its EU websites", nor the link to the judgement required to be placed as part of that notice, but does contain a link which says it is to a "Samsung/Apple UK Judgement" which links instead to the page linked in TFS, which contains the notice text, link to the judgement, and then a bunch of other Apple commentary. It seems to me that the bigger deal than them adding the additional language after the notice text is the fact that they haven't done what the order required, which is placing the notice on the homepage of their EU websites. And since the order specifically references the use of hyperlinks within the notice, it seems that the order is quite clear in distinguishing where content is placed vs. where hyperlinks to content are placed, so placing a hyperlink to a page containing the notice where they are required by the order to place the notice itself is nonresponsive.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:23PM (#41779445) Homepage

    Apple stated all the reference details of the case, including a URL, and quoted the judges exact words. Are you saying the judge was mean-spirited in his assessment? Or do you take exception to Apple pointing out that that other courts around the world took a different view on the matter?

    Apple are mean-spirited asses

    I'm just quoting your exact words.
    I ommitted some of the off-topic bits, but those are still your words.

  • by dintech (998802) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:29PM (#41779543)
    I think everything that was bad about Microsoft's market defensiveness which made it 'the brand of squares' was also what pushed people to Apple. Now that Apple is the same if not worse, I would expect to see the trendy crowd leaving in their droves if they had somewhere to go.

    Apple as a corporate brand looks like a cynical, egotistical, dominance protecting bullshit artist. I know, I know, it's all about the shareholders but it seems really at odds with their hipster marketing.

    Within the next few years, there's space for a new 'fashion electronics' brand to replace Apple. I don't think that's going to be Nokia, Microsoft, RIM or Samsung but who knows.
  • Re:Don't Care (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ZombieBraintrust (1685608) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:37PM (#41779663)
    It is never good to have a goverment ordering people to say or write things they don't actually believe. This is called "Freedom of Conscience." If Apple slandered or libeled Samsung the court can issue a fine. Or the court can write a press release that identifies the court as the author and force Apple to dsiplay it.
  • by StormReaver (59959) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:48PM (#41779803)

    ...they required an acknowledgement of design differences

    The UK Court told Apple exactly the wording to put on the website, and Apple did not comply. I would hope this results in a hefty Contempt of Court penalty for Apple's executives and lawyers.

  • by Ossifer (703813) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:50PM (#41779833)

    I was taught that one can only apologize for something one is truly sorry for having done. A forced apology is rather meaningless.

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:51PM (#41779845) Homepage

    Because Apple is using the Court's words to point out that Samsung is less cool, you see.

    You can't point out that Android/Samsung devices is less cool, because... well, just because, damnit!!!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @01:36PM (#41780427)

    You are confused. Apples patent is a DESIGN PATENT. What that device actually does or its purpose is not relevent. It could a kids toy, a piece of plastic, or a portable nuclear reactor that fits inside that design. If that design was shown before, it was prior art. The operation of the procut iside that design has completely different patents.

    People have been building skyscapers for mixed office/business/condo use for years, many of them have design patents with them. The petent there is the design, not what is inside and the actual purpose of the building.

  • by sootman (158191) on Friday October 26, 2012 @01:53PM (#41780605) Homepage Journal

    How many times do we have to beat this into the ground? You CAN get protection on design. This was not just about "rounded rectangles." All bottles share many characteristics, but try selling a soda in a curvy bottle that looks just like Coke's and see where that gets you. All cars share many characteristics, but Chevy can not make a car that looks just like a Mustang and Ford can not make a car that looks just like a Camaro. There are MANY ways to make a tablet that don't consist primarily of a black rectangle with parallel sides and a bezel of a certain width and with chrome trim.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_dress [wikipedia.org]

    It may or may not be bullshit but that's the law as it stands. There is a continuum between "totally different" and "virtually identical" and that's where the courts come in. Samsung COULD have played it safe and EASILY made products that look different from Apple's but instead they said "let's copy Apple as much as we can and take our chances."

    http://allthingsd.com/20120806/iphone-caused-crisis-of-design-at-samsung-memo/ [allthingsd.com]

  • by xeno314 (661565) on Friday October 26, 2012 @02:34PM (#41781049)

    I don't know how this would play out in the UK, but most US judges I've been before would have them back in court ASAP. It's true enough that they've put the required text in the required font on their site, and so they've technically complied with the letter of the order.

    However, this isn't like an everyday contract where you get to find a loophole and laugh - it's a court order. Judges can and do ensure that parties abide by the letter *and* spirit of their rulings, and do not take kindly to those who skirt around their intent. (Unlike contracts, courts have a decent amount of latitude to clarify/modify their orders when things like this happen.)

    I'm fairly certain that the judge did not intend for Apple to post the required text, then follow it up with excerpts from the court that appear to endorse Apple products - and I'm just as certain that Apple's lawyers knew that. Apple is seeing if they can get away with it, and I suppose the rest of us are, too.

  • by Jappus (1177563) on Friday October 26, 2012 @03:38PM (#41781809)

    A horse-carriage is not the same as a modern automobile -- after all, it does not have a steering wheel or other amenities -- yet people always saw it as enough of a prior art to call it a car; short for horseless carriage.

    A feather quill cut and dumped in ink is not exactly the same as a modern ink pen, but who would doubt that the feather is prior art?

    Can you deny that the first telephones of Reis, Gray or Bell constitute a real, tangible prior art to modern mobile phones; even though they look and work completely different?

    And do you know what all those things I have mentioned have in common: They admit to themselves as having prior art; they fully embrace it and the companies that make them do not intend to sue the crap out of each other for those things they have in common. Rather more, they try to innovate and focus on what makes them different.

    So, what makes the Apple products different from their competitors that is also different to their own roots -- the prior art? What makes you buy one in preference to the others? Is it the fact that they have rounded edges? Certainly not. Is it the fact that they are black? Of course not. Is it the basic way you work with them (tapping, looking, reading)? I'd be hard pressed to say that that's the case.

    No, you prefer one over the other because of its functional differences; exactly those things that actually set it apart from both its prior art and their competitors; especially in the minds of their customers.

    So coming full circle again: The looks of the TNG PADDs and the way you hold them is inconsequential to the question if they constitute prior art, as long as their technical and functional aspects are so similar -- which is undeniably the case.

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