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Handhelds The Courts Apple Hardware

Apple Posts Non-Apology To Samsung 413

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.
  • Just Apple.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @10:16AM (#41777571)

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

  • Actually, they do not actually acknowledge non-infringement at all. All they acknowledge is the court decision that Samsung did not infringe. This so-called apology is merely a recitation of the fact that the court had concluded the things that they did. They do not even hint at acknowledging that this decision was in any way, shape, or form, a genuine assessment of reality.
  • Re:Just Apple.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:08AM (#41778385) Journal
    Apple didn't even follow the letter of what the judge told them to do (and it was not a request, it was a court order) The judge told them to acknowledge that Samsung did not infringe. Rather than do that, all they did was acknowledge that *court* had determined that Samsung did not infringe. This is a mere recitation of historically verifiable facts, and not an acknowledgement that Samsung did not infringe, which is what the judge told Apple to do.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:42AM (#41778911)

    They did exactly what the judge asked. I don't know why you guys think otherwise. You're expecting Apple to come out and say "we suck and we don't deserve any dignity", but that's not what the judge asked for.

    Even if the judge says they can't mention those other things in there, how enforceable is that really? Apple will just advertise those other details prominently elsewhere on their site. I don't see how a judge can force Apple not to mention other court cases anywhere on its website.

    Look, I don't like Apple and won't ever use Apple products, but there is a clear lack of rationality in the posts here.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @11:50AM (#41779039)

    All they acknowledge is the court decision that Samsung did not infringe.

    ...which is all that they were required to do according to the ruling.

    To quote directly from the actual ruling [], here's what Apple was required to do:

    (4) Within seven days of the date of this Order the Defendant shall, at its own expense, (a) post in a font size no small than Arial 14 pt the notice specified in Schedule 1 to this Order on the home pages of its EU websites ("the Defendant's Websites"), as specified in Schedule 1 to this order, together with a hyperlink to the judgment of HHJ Birss QC dated 09 July 2012, said notice and hyperlink to remain displayed on the Defendant's Websites for a period of one year from the date of this Order or until further order of the Court


    The following notice shall be posted and displayed upon the Defendant's Websites [...]

    "On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (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 000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available via the following link [insert hyperlink]."

    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. You've apparently bought into a fiction for what Apple was required to do as a result of this ruling. Granted, there was a lot of hyperbole swirling around after the ruling, so it's not surprising that people are incorrectly believing that apologies and statements like the ones you were expecting were required, but those expectations have no basis in reality.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:13PM (#41779317)

    Apple didn't even follow the letter of what the judge told them to do (and it was not a request, it was a court order)

    That much is correct.

    The judge told them to acknowledge that Samsung did not infringe.

    No, the judge told them to place a specific notice (with the exact wording specified in the order, and a hyperlink to the judgement specified in a particular place), with specific text font and size. Which is the first non-title text actually on the page, and appears to use the correct font and size. So the content of the notice page is probably compliant -- nothing in the order directs them not to have other content on the page the notice is placed on. The "acknowledge that Samsung didn't infringe" is the kind of things news sites characterizing the order described it as, not what the actual order requires.

    However, the order also specifies which pages the notice has to be placed on: and the specified pages are the hompages of Apple's EU sites. On their UK site, at least -- and I suspect the same is true elsewhere -- the only thing related to the notice on the homepage of the site is smaller text reading "Apple/Samsung UK Legal Judgement" in the page footer, which is a hyperlink to the page linked from TFS. The text required by the order to be placed on the homepage of Apple's EU sites is not present, either in the required font and size or otherwise.

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

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:34PM (#41779625) Journal
    No... not in a 14 point font.

    More like about 8.

    And on an iphone retina display, it's even tinier.

    Examining their CSS, the font size they specified is actually 14px, not 14pt.

  • by shugah ( 881805 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:40PM (#41779707)
    These are not functional patents, they are design patents. The TV depictions, in terms of design/trade dress show that the design is not novel and as there are multiple such TV/movie examples, obvious.
  • by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:53PM (#41779865)

    Does the slashdot crowd really believe this is about rectangular devices with curves?

    The people that have looked at the design patent in question, yes.

  • by Anubis IV ( 1279820 ) on Friday October 26, 2012 @02:17PM (#41780863)

    You didn't read far enough (neither did I, to be fair; someone else pointed it out to me). If you read further down in the court document [], you'll see that the part you're referencing is Samsung's terms that they were seeking from the ruling, and that the judge's actual ruling is at the bottom. If you read the ruling, you'll see the following:

    57. I am not persuaded that the list of websites in Schedule 1, other than the United Kingdom website, would be fair or appropriate. I am also not persuaded that the statement needs to be on the websites for one year. This is a very fast moving industry and I bear in mind the risk of prejudice to Apple and I will require the statement to be on the United Kingdom website of Apple corporation for six months.

    While Samsung's terms indicated that the notice should be on the home page of the website (and used terminology sufficient to draw a distinction between a home page and a more general website), the judge's ruling only specified that the notice needs to be on the website, with no indication that it must be on the home page.

    Also, related to what you were talking about, the judge was well aware of Apple's proclivity to try and suggest that Samsung was copying:

    51. In my judgment, Apple are carefully trying to say something which contains an innuendo that Samsung infringe without actually saying it. The reference to copying is exactly that. It is clear that copying plays no part in this case for Registered Community Design infringement, but to many people outside the circles of intellectual property law to say something infringes a Registered Community Design and to say someone copied your design or your product is to say the same thing.

    That said, he later goes on to say that he more or less considers that a moot point since Samsung and Apple are big boys who can take care of themselves and that forcing Apple to post the ads balances things out. So, you were spot-on correct about Apple not being required to apologize or offer any other sort of statement, other than that one line of required text.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!