Apple and Samsung have been duking it out in court cases around the world for months. However, Apple was recently handed a rather unique loss when it was ordered to post a statement on its website notifying people that Samsung was found not guilty of infringing upon Apple-owned designs. Apple appealed the ruling but complied last week when it lost that appeal. However, the statement Apple published was a little bit sneaky. You see, while Apple's statement did concede that Samsung was found not-guilty in the UK, it also included mentions of all the lawsuits Apple has won against the South Korean company outside of the UK.
Now, UK court of appeal is a bit peeved. According to the Guardian newspaper, Apple has been reprimanded over the wording of the statement and ordered to change it. Not only that, but the company has been told it must post the updated version on its UK homepage (the last statement was just linked from the homepage) and use at least 11-point font.
Apple was given 24 hours to make the change, which it tried to fight, claiming it would need two weeks. Bloomberg writes that Judge Robin Jacob, who described the statement as a plain breach of the order, said that he couldn't believe Cupertino would need two weeks to put something on its website.
"I just can’t believe the instructions you’ve been given. This is Apple. They cannot put something on their website?" he's quoted as saying.
According to Bloomberg, Samsung's complaint to the court implied that the UK courts were "out of step" with others around the world.
Apple's original statement can be seen below. We'll be sure to update with the new one when it becomes available.
Samsung / Apple UK judgment
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 notinfringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the Highcourt is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.
In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:
"The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design."
"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."
That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.
However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. 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.