Apple's Non-Apology Annoys Judge - InformationWeek

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12:54 PM

Apple's Non-Apology Annoys Judge

Apple has been ordered to rewrite an apology it owes Samsung regarding tablet design after a U.K. judge scoffed at the original.

Apple tried to pull a fast one on foe Samsung, but judges in the U.K. aren't going to let Apple get away with it.

Earlier this year, Apple lost a court case to Samsung in the U.K. regarding the design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10. Apple accused Samsung of copying its design language, specifically that of the iPad. After losing its appeal on October 18, Apple was ordered by the court to officially apologize to Samsung for suggesting that the Galaxy Tab 10 copied the design of the iPad. Apple issued that apology last week.

The first two segments of the apology quote portions of the ruling about the Galaxy Tab 10, the iPad, and the findings of the judges. It appears as though Apple complied with the judge's ruling. But the last paragraph got Apple in trouble:

[ Samsung isn't the only one engaged in a design conflict with Apple. Read Apple Vs. The Swiss Railways Patent. ]

"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."

In other words, Apple said, "The U.K. doesn't think the Galaxy Tab infringes on the iPad, but the U.S. and Germany do." You can understand why that might upset the U.K. judges a bit.

"I'm at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this," said Judge Robin Jacob. "That is a plain breach of the order." Jacob ordered Apple to remove the first apology and issue a new one within 24 hours, according to Bloomberg.

Apple said complying with the 24-hour rewrite ruling would be impossible and asked for 14 days to review the apology. Judge Jacobs scoffed at that idea and shot it down.

"I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit setting out the technical difficulties which means Apple can't put this on [the Apple website]," said Jacob. "I just can't believe the instructions you've been given. This is Apple. They cannot put something on their website?"

Now Apple needs to put a statement on its website that references that it didn't follow the spirit of the ruling with its original apology.

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User Rank: Apprentice
11/6/2012 | 5:55:04 AM
re: Apple's Non-Apology Annoys Judge
This article made me laugh several time throughout, I do think the judge is pushing the limits of the law by reordering a new one be written. Apple's apology was voided by the last paragraph, The judge asked for an apology not a history on what the rest of the legal world decided by referencing earlier decisions. That was a slap in the face to the judge and he caught it and no judge like being told that their decision is wrong regardless of the basis. I don't understand hey Apple needed 14 days to rewrite it other than to let that apology linger in the world for a bit before changing it.

Paul Sprague
InformationWeek Contributor
User Rank: Ninja
11/5/2012 | 3:33:22 PM
re: Apple's Non-Apology Annoys Judge
Sure they have every right to tell their users etc. that other courts have found differently, they just should not have done it in the apology document.

I do think the idea that the judge ruled Apple had to apologize was ridiculous. As has been stated in other articles I have read it is like when your mother made you apologize for hitting your sister everyone knows the apology is not sincere so it is a wasted effort.

If the judge really wanted to do something he would have made Apple pay some or all of Samsung's legal costs.
User Rank: Apprentice
11/2/2012 | 2:11:58 AM
re: Apple's Non-Apology Annoys Judge
As a retired attorney, I laugh at this as totally asinine, arrogant behavior on the part of this Judge. Apple complied word-for-word with his order as to what was to be published. Then freedom of speech applies. The Judge has NO business prohibiting Apple from directly quoting from the Judge's comments in explaining his decision! Nor has he authority to prohibit Apple from telling its customers and shareholders what other courts in other countries have ruled. Another Little Lord Fauntleroy in the court system!
User Rank: Apprentice
11/1/2012 | 7:47:05 PM
re: Apple's Non-Apology Annoys Judge
All that is so stupid and we the consumers have to pay for it. Apple has great products but what they are doing is too much and I would love to boycott them but I can't.


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