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UK Court of Appeal Reprimands Apple Over Mandated Samsung Statement 241

Posted by timothy
from the no-no-use-this-petard-instead dept.
Macthorpe writes "In the UK, Apple were previously ordered to add a statement to their website stating that Samsung did not copy their designs, following a previous case where this was ruled by the UK courts. However, today the same court revealed that Apple's statement is not good enough. From the article: 'The acknowledgement put up last week, linked from the home page by a tiny link, was deemed to be "non-compliant" with the order that the court had made in October. The court has now ordered it to correct the statement – and the judges, Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Kitchin and Sir Robin Jacob, indicated that they were not pleased with Apple's failure to put a simpler statement on the site.' It appears the main objection is the statement is on a separate page and only linked from the hompage — and that the statement is buried in marketing blurb, and also put next to references to a case Apple won."
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UK Court of Appeal Reprimands Apple Over Mandated Samsung Statement

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:30AM (#41841857)

    That might do the trick, plus the added benefit of putting at least one crook where he belongs after decades of *stealing* ideas from everyone else.

  • Re:Uh.... no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:48AM (#41842061) Homepage

    And to be fair, based on the verbosity of what Apple is required to post, I can understand their reluctance at putting it on their home page, since it could substantially alter how the page balances visually on a full screen browser

    <sarcasm> Yes, that would be the main reason for Apple's relucatance</sarcasm>

  • Re:Uh.... no. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:49AM (#41842067)

    And to be fair, based on the verbosity of what Apple is required to post, I can understand their reluctance at putting it on their home page, since it could substantially alter how the page balances visually on a full screen browser.

    I see. So court orders can be blatantly ignored if following them would affect the way a marketing web site "balances visually".

    Should the judges be required to take a marketing course before issuing their ruling so as not to upset the "visual balance" of the company they are reprimanding?

    Maybe we need more marketing experts serving on judiciary panels. It's the only way to resolve such life-or-death issues.

    I mean really.

  • Re:Uh.... no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @10:49AM (#41842069)

    And to be fair, based on the verbosity of what Apple is required to post, I can understand their reluctance at putting it on their home page, since it could substantially alter how the page balances visually on a full screen browser.

    If sanctions didn't impact things that the sanctioned party cared about, they wouldn't be sanctions.

  • Re:Uh.... no. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zemran (3101) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:01AM (#41842191) Homepage Journal

    It is because they have fools like you on their team that they are still suffering from this. It is not an American court that will waste time with arguments like that, it is a European court who will know that Apple understood exactly what was meant and that any failure to comply is contempt. They failed to comply, this has prolonged the great advertising that Samsung is getting from this. If Apple continue to treat the court with contempt the penalties are likely to increase.

  • Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lennier1 (264730) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:05AM (#41842239)

    Just convict them to forfeit all revenue generated in the UK until they comply with the order. You'll be surprised how fast Apple will get it right.

  • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:06AM (#41842241) Journal

    Good point. The way Apple complied earlier was prominently displaying the mandated notice"in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of The Leopard'.'"

    This seems like a fitting case study in "When Companies Get All Passive-Aggressive".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:10AM (#41842297)

    is it reasonable for the court to expect them to do that

    It didn't take them 14 days to put up the first draft

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:14AM (#41842351)

    It depends a bit on context, doesn't it?

    Let's say the judge a judge orders me to place a link to their ruling in the page.

    Now I'm going to comply. I'm going to add the following:
    <-- <a href="ruling.html">link</a> -->

    You see? There's a link, and it's in the page. I complied.

    Oh, I'm not allowed to comment it out? Well okay.

    <div id="footerwaydown"><a href="ruling.html">link</a><img src="1px.gif"/></div>

    What do you mean I have to have a text link? Fine. Whatever.

    <div id="footerwaydown"><a style="font-size=1px; color:#fff" href="ruling.html">court ruling</a></div>

    What? I did everything you asked. I cannot possibly comply more with your demands. Oh you have new demands. It has to actually be visible? FINE.

    <div id="footerwaydown"><a href="aboutus.html">about us</a> | <a href="support.html">support</a> | <a href="tos.html">terms of service</a> | <a href="ruling.html">court ruling</a> | <a href="copyright.html">copyright</a> | <a href="privacy.html">privacy policy</a></div>

    WHAT!? It's visible. It's text. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT!? What do you mean it's still getting lost way down there in the footer along with all the other links nobody clicks? Ugh. Make up your mind, judge!

    Of course, we all know what the court wanted - not the letter of the ruling, but the spirit. Maybe something like:
    <h1 id="inyourfaceheadline">Welcome to QuasiSteve, Inc.</h1>
    <div id="rightbelowtheheadline" style="background-color:#fcc;">On November 1st, 2012, QuasiSteve, Inc. was ordered by the court to apologize to PseudoJohn, Ltd. for making false claims. Read our full apology:<br />
    <a href="apology.html">http://www.quasisteve.co.uk/apology.html</a></div>

    The judge would have done well to not leave this is the hands of Apple's legal and marketing teams, and instead sit down with somebody with half a clue about editing an HTML page, get to the result he believes to be fair, get back to Apple with that, and barring any valid complaints from their side, order them to make it just so.

    But you're right. They complied. They also probably knew very well that they were taking the piss.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:29AM (#41842543) Homepage Journal

    You basement dwelling nerds and your awesome legal strategies. How about writing it in Chinese, eh? As you're dragged off for contempt of court you'll be able to laugh at how you outwitted those bewigged old fossils yet again.

  • Re:Uh.... no. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rufty_tufty (888596) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:31AM (#41842573) Homepage

    In unrelated news, prisoners are suing the prison board because orange "isn't a flattering colour and really clashes with my tattoos"

  • by Macthorpe (960048) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @11:39AM (#41842687) Journal

    An analogy (sorry, not a car analogy).

    If you spoke to a misbehaving boy, and told him to write 100 lines saying "I will not call the other kids bad names", would you accept his response if he wrote his hundred lines followed by "BUT THOSE OTHER KIDS ARE STILL POOPYHEADS"? No, you would ask him to do more lines, or come up with a different punishment entirely.

    The behaviour of Apple in this instance is equivalent to a petulant child, and they are the only ones to blame if the court has to treat them as such.

  • Re:shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slim (1652) <john AT hartnup DOT net> on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:02PM (#41842997) Homepage

    I think there are circumstances where an over-literal interpretation of a court order would constitute contempt of court.

    Say I've written an obscene message on my neighbour's door in marker pen. The court orders me to pay a fine, and to clean off the graffiti. I clean the message off with wire wool, and in so doing, I deliberately scratch the obscene message into the door more permanently than the original pen ink.

    There are two ways to see this:
      - yours - I complied precisely with the court order. If the court wanted the door returned to its original condition, it should have worded the court order more precisely.
      - a reasonable person's - I took the piss, I did not comply with the spirit of the court order, I am in contempt of court.

  • Re:And so we see (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DickBreath (207180) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:09PM (#41843067) Homepage
    Anti-competitive. That's quite a laugh.

    Samsung engaging in anti-competitive practices vs Apple is rich. Apple, who wants an absolute monopoly on anything resembling a smartphone would seem to be the one being anti-competitive. Samsung designed another phone, the Galaxy S3 that was designed by lawyers [androidpolice.com] not to infringe, yet Apple found some triviality that they could use to name that phone [cnet.com] in a patent suit.

    The trivialities about what Samsung did, or minutia of particular patent details are mere distractions. The big picture is about Apple wanting an absolute monopoly. Apple cannot charge monopoly rents [wikipedia.org] otherwise. Apple is also suing every other Android manufacturer. And if any other smartphone brand (eg, Microsoft) represented an actual threat, Apple would be suing them too. Steve Jobs was specific that he would spend all of Apple's money to destroy Android -- not Samsung. It's just that Samsung makes the most awesome Android phones, at the moment, and so are the targets of Apple's anti-competitive actions.
  • Justice served (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Patchw0rk F0g (663145) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:10PM (#41843097) Journal

    Look, let's face it: Apple bagged this one. Not only did they bury the link at the bottom of the page, but the "apology" wasn't even a football field close to what the judges mandated. I'm not an Apple fan, but neither am I a detractor; I use them if I need to (in studio) or not (at home). This bullshit, however, regarding their wording and their Samsung bashing, is at the least a middle-finger-up at the justices that deemed it useful and fair, and at the most a whole boot-up-the-ass to everyone involved, including the public at large.

    If they had thought to not monkey around with the decision, play fair by the ruling mandated at them, and kept the marketing dweebs out of the mix, none of this would have happened. They'd have a tiny little banner at the bottom of their page leading to a fair and impartial relation of the facts... a banner that, in almost all cases, no one would bother clicking on in the first place.

    Looks good on you, Apple, I've got to say. Nice way to screw up an almost meaningless ruling.

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @12:40PM (#41843403) Homepage Journal

    Really? Yeah Samsung never stole ideas from others, no that never happened *eye roll*

    This is the immature adult's equivalant to "butbutbutbut... Jeffy did it too, why am I in trouble?? Waaaaa!"

    "Jeffy," or in this case, Samsung, did not blatantly and petulantly fail to comply with a court order.

    Grow the fuck up.

  • by sgtrock (191182) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:00PM (#41843593)

    Are you referring to the German court decision? The one that the UK judge noted should never have gone forward because the UK court was sitting as a European Court in accordance with EU law? THAT "other courts (sic) decision"?

    Or the US jury decision that is very likely to be overturned based upon what looks very much like one juror's illegal actions? THAT "other courts (sic) decision"?

  • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@ear ... t ['hli' in gap]> on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:18PM (#41843813)

    FWIW, I have more respect for Apple. They are about equally evil, but Apple at least attempts to make products that are technically good.

    OTOH, I say that as someone who hasn't used an Apple product for around 10 years now due to EULA incompatibilities. But they got that EULA language from Microsoft, so there again, I have to rate MS as worse than Apple. Except that MS put the EULA on the installation of the product, and Apple slipped it into a security upgrade. Whoops! Maybe Apple is worse after all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:33PM (#41844023)

    It is called spirit of the law. Judges usually don't take kindly to people trying to muddle on the technicality of the language. Apple knew what the Judge wanted and failed to provide it. The judge even tried to help with direction. Apple just wanted to play dumb and now they got burned.

  • by Cederic (9623) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:43PM (#41844161) Journal

    The problem seems to be the judge's egos.

    No, the problem is that the whole point of the notice was to correct Apple's lies that Samsung had infringed on their IP.

    Instead Apple's original notice cast further aspersions on Samsung. This is oddly enough diametrically opposed to the whole point of the notice.

    The judge's ego doesn't come into it. Apple's compliance with a court order is the key factor here, and continued non-compliance can only end badly for Apple.

  • by Cederic (9623) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @01:50PM (#41844241) Journal

    All Apple had to do was follow the law. That's it, the spirit does not enter into it. If the judges did not want Apple to wonder off the reservation then they needed to explicitly state what Apple can and cannot do. That's how the law works.

    Maybe in America. Over here we have a more mature and less easily bribed legal system.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@@@world3...net> on Thursday November 01, 2012 @02:17PM (#41844573) Homepage

    The judge would have done well to not leave this is the hands of Apple's legal and marketing teams, and instead sit down with somebody with half a clue about editing an HTML page, get to the result he believes to be fair, get back to Apple with that, and barring any valid complaints from their side, order them to make it just so.

    Why should the court have to treat Apple like a six year old child? Any such attempt would have just wasted the courts valuable time and resulted in further legal wrangling from both sides. The court made its desire clear and expected Apple to be adult about it.

    It's a shame they didn't start with newspaper ads, that way they would have been required to pay for another load.

  • by Tough Love (215404) on Thursday November 01, 2012 @02:21PM (#41844643)

    The judge would have done well to not leave this is the hands of Apple's legal and marketing teams, and instead sit down with somebody with half a clue about editing an HTML page, get to the result he believes to be fair, get back to Apple with that, and barring any valid complaints from their side, order them to make it just so.

    Notwithstanding the fact that Apple arguably deserves to be treated that way, it is hard to fault the judge for providing Apple enough rope to hang itself. Is this yet another case of "but Tim didn't know"?

  • by Myopic (18616) * on Thursday November 01, 2012 @02:42PM (#41844845)

    "Why should the court have to treat Apple like a six year old child?"

    Because... oh never mind.

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