Of all the silliness in Apple and Samsung’s international legal spats, the drama surrounding a court-ordered apology that Apple had to make on its U.K. site ranks among the most shameless.
Apple yesterday finally posted a corrected version of its apology to Samsung on its U.K. site, following issues that a U.K. appeals court had with its original note, CNet reports. What’s most funny about the news is just how much Apple made the situation worse, instead of simply taking its lumps.
After a U.K. court ruled that Samsung’s tablets didn’t copy Apple’s iPad design, Apple was ordered to post an announcement about the judgement on its U.K. site. Apple did so over a week ago, but the confusing language , reference to other court cases (where Samsung was found to infringe on Apple’s designs), and a few notes about one U.K. judge’s personal opinion of Apple’s designs made it clear the company posted the apology begrudgingly.
Last week, the U.K. court spanked Apple over that initial apology and ordered the company to post a new apology within 48 hours, link to it prominently from its homepage (the previous announcement was buried within Apple’s site), and keep it online until December 14.
Had Apple just followed through with the court’s original order instead of being cheeky with its own additions, nobody would be talking about its Samsung apology now. Instead, the company has kept the news cycle alive and ended up looking childish in the process.
Apple yesterday added the following note to the bottom of its U.K. homepage in large type:
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 new announcement is just two short paragraphs, and though it still doesn’t mention the iPad by name, it’s much clearer than the original. Apple was also ordered to post the same announcement in U.K. papers, which started appearing last Friday.
Here’s the full note:
Samsung / Apple UK judgment
On 9 July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s Community registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of
the High Court is available from www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.
That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available from www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the Community registered design in force anywhere in Europe.
Illustration by Tom Cheredar