While the American legal system was busy being crazy earlier this year, the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom decided that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab series of devices did not copy the iPad. One of the orders given by Justice Birss, which was upheld by the Court of Appeal, was that Apple had to publish a notice, both on its website and in the print media, to correct its the company’s many statements that Samsung had stolen their design.
Apple’s first attempt at an ‘apology’ was a revolutionary take on the concept, where Apple really apologised for nothing, corrected nothing, and seemed to be suggesting that the UK court was wrong.
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.”
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.
Not surprisingly, the Court of Appeal did not take kindly to this, and ordered that Apple replace its defective notice with one that actually complied with the court order, and gave them 24 hours in which to do it. Apple did comply, publishing the following on the front page of their website:
On 25 October 2012, Apple Inc. published a statement on its UK website in relation to Samsung’s Galaxy tablet computers. That statement was inaccurate and did not comply with the order of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. The correct statement is at Samsung/Apple UK judgement.
The above statement then links through to a longer explanation, but Apple have some interesting scripting running on their UK website that resizes the iPad image so that the text at the bottom of the screen will never be displayed without scrolling, regardless of the resolution of your display.
Whether the court will accept this is yet to be seen, but Apple really are trying to find the line between compliance and contempt, and I for one would love to see them called on it.