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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 TWX (665546) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#41777537)
    ..they required an acknowledgement of design differences. The danger for Apple is that such a public acknowledgement could spill over into other jurisdictions and affect suits there. Therefore, they've made it as highly specifically technical and narrow to their lawyers' interpretation of the judge's order as possible. Whether or not the court will agree is another matter, and if the court disagrees, how the judge feels about it could mean anything from tweaking the wording to being found in contempt.
    • Yes well if Samsung asks the judge why in the hell he ordered Apple to give a prominent court endorsement about how much better and cooler the iPad is...
    • 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.

      • 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 makomk (752139) on Friday October 26, 2012 @01:54PM (#41780623) Journal

          They've been arseholes. I'm pretty sure the reason the court ruled that they had to make an apology was because they've been arseholes. In fact, Apple are such arseholes that when the court first ruled against them in this case, before the court further forced them to apologize to Samsung, they released a statement to the press which basically made it sound like the court had ruled in their favour

        • by Beerdood (1451859) on Friday October 26, 2012 @03:54PM (#41782027)

          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

          The touché screen - is that some special type of app that automatically finds the top 10 wittiest remarks (relevant to the current display on the screen)? That sounds like a legitimately patentable idea to me. A damn good one at that.

      • 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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        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.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      They didn't make it narrow or specifically technical at all. At what point does "we concocted a giant story discussing the matter and other issues" as opposed to just stating "Samsung did not copy Apple" sound like an even remotely narrow interpretation? This isn't following the spirit or the letter of the law.

    • 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 cmdrbuzz (681767)

        I'd suggest you re-read the Court's wording. It matches /exactly/ with Apple's notice.

        Then underneath the Court's mandated wording, Apple have repeated some facts. It says quite a bit about your bias that you seem to resent the facts they quoted...

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:15AM (#41777545) Homepage

    Heh. Not sure if Samsung prefers to have this up or down :)

  • 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.

      • It wasn't (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:24AM (#41777703)
        It was three Appeal judges. This sort of thing really is a mistake where they are concerned, and I imagine they will be contacting one another about it on their Blackberries. If Apple now goes to the UK Supreme Court, they will not be very popular.
  • Just Apple.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    ..being Apple. This is just what they do best: spin everything for good PR, forgetting the technical part.

  • Contempt of Court (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:17AM (#41777585)

    I really hope the UK has the equivalent of 'contempt of court' and throws the book at those arrogant jerks at Apple.

    I further hope the blowback from their attempted patent-armageddon against the rest of the smartphone industry costs them manyfold what they've attempted to extort from others. I only wish I'd never introduced my wife to Apple, and helped her climb the Linux learning curve instead. I hate the idea of giving those would-be monopolists a single penny.

    • Re:Contempt of Court (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LizardKing (5245) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:44AM (#41778007)
      Yes, the UK does have the principle of "contempt of court", and I'd say this is pretty much an example of it as it goes against the spirit and arguably the wording of the court judgement. I just wonder how the court would decide which Apple employees are going to prison for this (and yes, contempt of court invariably means jail time even if it's only overnight).
  • Judges generally don't like it at all when people try to skirt around their rulings by barely acknowledging the letter while flagrantly disregarding the spirit.

    Apple is just begging for a contempt citation here.

    • They can afford it. Just another cost of doing business. It's already built into the price of their products.

    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Law is all about specificity.

  • Don't Care (Score:2, Insightful)

    Court ordered apologies are stupid. Good for Apple to show contempt for them. Doesn't make their patent good. Their patents are still stupid.
  • I was under the impression that the statement had to be on the front page of the web site? I don't even see a link to it on their UK home page.
  • Grade School (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:22AM (#41777643)

    Well nice to know that Apple is still behaving like a spoiled child. It isn't enough to dominate the market, it is important to be unrepentant bully.

    • It isn't enough to dominate the market, it is important to be unrepentant bully.

      That's how they dominate the market. The market, and society in general rewards bullies.

  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NatasRevol (731260)

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

      You might want to think that through a little further.

      • 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.
    • 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.

      It will be interesting to see what happens next. Apple no doubt ran this buy their very good legal team and decided the risk was worth it. Apple laid out facts along with the required notice and did not specifically continue to accuse Samsung of copying their design so they 8may* be safe but then again judges have a lot of power and latitude to use when you piss them off.

  • Called it (Score:5, Funny)

    by NatasRevol (731260) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:28AM (#41777763) Journal

    About a week ago.

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3194259&cid=41692165 [slashdot.org]

    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 ciderbrew (1860166) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:35AM (#41777861)
    It reads like a child saying sorry :) this has got to reach the news along with the follow case.
    I think Microsoft would have written a 10,000 word apology which read like a EULA. Every bit unread after the first title.
    • A Streisand Effect is exactly the point. With an apology like this, it's sure to draw attention, but that means that they'll have more people on the Apple website just a few clicks away from buying an iPad, and all of them will be reading about how a judge stated in his official ruling that the "informed user" will appreciate the iPad, or how courts around the world have been ruling that Samsung's less popular device is a copycat product.

      True or not, that all plays right into Apple's hand. It's an extremely

  • 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 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 Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent@jan@goh.gmail@com> on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:23AM (#41778617) Homepage

      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 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 geek (5680) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:49AM (#41779017)

      I worked for Apple a couple years ago. While my experience was generally positive, I can say without hesitation that Apple denies everything until it is absolutely not possible to deny it anymore. Then they turn their back and walk away.

      The arrogance at Apple at anything above a director level is astounding. I remember when the Mac Malware stuff first hit and little old ladies were getting gay pron popping up on their screen. Apple's officlal policy was that it wasn't their problem and no Applecare reps were allowed to even confirm the problem existed or help get rid of it. It took over a month for them to release a software update to scan and remove it and even after that they wouldn't publicly take responsibility for Safari automatically opening "safe" files.

      Apple is their own worst enemy in this regard.

  • by willoughby (1367773) on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:59AM (#41778221)

    In the Tracy Kidder book, "The Soul of a New Machine", he documents a year or so with the engineering team designing a new computer. Time pressure... long hours... high tension... and finally one of the engineers called one of the others an asshole.

    The project manager called the fellow into the office & explained that we all need to be able to work with each other... yadda yadda.... and you must apologize to him.

    The fellow left the office, approached the other engineer and said, "I'm sorry you're an asshole".

  • by redelm (54142) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:02AM (#41778287) Homepage

    Sure, this looks like mockery to us unrobed and unwigged. But look at it from the Judges PoV: they know that one or both litigants will hate them. Part of the job. What judges dislike is being overturned on appeal -- especially if they've "gone too far" (rather than missing facts).

    Apple has just seriously impaired any appeal: They've spent alot of money to voluntarily quote the ruling -- they must agree with it, or at least that [foundational] part. Apple can plead compliance with the order, but not with respect to the material chosen. That was entirely their own choosing.

    The law grinds fine, and it is not unusual to have things work out completely the opposite of knee-jerk first appearances. Life, too. I expect the UK justices will close ranks and not reward bad behaviour.

  • So, who should the judge jail, Apple's CEO?

  • Apple was told to acknowledge the court's decision.

    Rather than acknowledge *WHAT* the court decided, however, all Apple really did was acknowledge *THAT* the court had decided it, and then specifically spelled out what it was that the court decided. I'm not entirely sure that a mere recitation of what all the court had decided, since this is spelled out in the court decision that is linked to anyways, could reasonably be interpreted as an actual acknowledgement of it.

    I guess it remains to be seen if that sort of thing will satisfy a UK judge. Also, I'm pretty sure that's not 14 pt text (14 pixels, yes, but not 14pt).

  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:36AM (#41778805)

    Samsung should thank Apple for assuming Apple's customers are so retarded as to mistake an Android phone or tablet for an iPhone or iPad.

  • by ugen (93902) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:20PM (#41779419)

    Apple is what M$ was 10 years ago for /. current demographics - Evil Satan that can do no right.

    As someone who has been on /. longer than that (and around technology of any kind even longer) - all I can say is "this too shall pass".

    In the meantime, I think Apple did the right thing. Take it on the personal level. Let's say you feel someone wronged you. You go to court, try to correct the wrong, and court decides against you and (in your opinion, adding insult to injury) requires you to apologize to the party that offended you. How do you feel? Can you offer an honest apology? Why would you? Regardless of whether you agree or don't agree Samsung copied Apple. For the record, while I am not a big fan of Apple policies, I *do* feel that most manufacturers, including Samsung, are copying them. In these things the devil is in the details, and *imho* these details are what make Apple products convenient and others (Samsung) are convenient mostly as far as they follow these same details. Feel free to disagree.

    And of course no discussion of British legal system and apologies is complete without this, which I find extremely pertinent:
    http://movieclips.com/CDHXP-a-fish-called-wanda-movie-upside-down-apology/
    (Now you can tell how old I am :) Linking here because youtube is misbehaving at the moment)

    • by geek (5680)

      Not to play the UID game but it looks like I've probably been here a tad bit longer than you. I remember the glory days of MS bashing and the reasons for bashing were very different. People hated Windows because it crashed 200 times a day and any 8 year old with a DOS prompt could essentially "root" your box. MS also practiced extremely agressive anti-trust behavior.

      Apple does none of the above. They just sue the piss out of competitors and act like arrogant jerks every chance they get. I'm not going to pas

  • by satuon (1822492) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:50PM (#41779823)

    Did they commission Mel Gibson to write the apology?

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday October 26, 2012 @01:12PM (#41780107) Journal

    HEMA is a dutch retailer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HEMA_(store) [wikipedia.org]

    They like other retailers have had reasons to publish recall notices for products which turn out to be faulty, this is a legal recuirement. They usually are black and white with no pictures and tiny logos if the logo is even present. The ones for HEMA are in color, with clear logo and product image also in full color. They don't need to, but they do because... well, they care for their customers? That at least is the image this gives people. The company has an EXCELLENT reputation with most Dutch people. They sell a LOT of their own branded stuff and while it isn't premium quality it is cheap and reliable and if you have a problem just return it and get a full refund with no hassle.

    They respect their customers and deal with laws as adults, obeying not just the letter (print recall notice) but the spirit (try your best to notify the customers they might have a faulty product).

    Compared to Apples reputation... lying about European warranties (2 years vs 1 year that apple gives), false advertising and now this kind of childish stunt. It means any adult sees Apple as just plain pathetic. Childish. Petty. Immature.

    Grow up Apple. All you have done by this is given ammo to apple haters to ridicule your fanboys with.

    Had they produced a mature ad, only the fanboys would have wimpered and everyone else would have said "oh well at least they aren't sore losers".

    Now they are the laughing stock of the world for throwing a temper tantrum. Only yuppies respect this kind of stuff and the like of Romney who likes to fire people. The rest of us want to live in a mature world were people and companies act with a bit of dignity.

    Bad Apple now go to bed, no desert for you.

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