Apple Mocks Samsung In Court-Ordered Ad

A U.K. judge's observation that Samsung's tablets aren't as cool as the iPad gets featured in Apple's required notification.
iPad Mini Tablet: Visual Tour
iPad Mini Tablet: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple has complied with a U.K. court order to declare that Samsung tablets aren't iPad knockoffs. But it has done so in a way that mocks Samsung.

Apple sued Samsung in the U.K. and nine other countries including the U.S. last year, alleging that Samsung infringed its patents. In July, a U.K. court ruled that Samsung had not infringed Apple's designs and ordered Apple to proclaim Samsung's innocence on its website.

The court gave Apple seven days to post notification of the ruling in a font of no less than 11 pixels, with a link to the ruling, that must remain on Apple's U.K website for six months or until the court orders otherwise. It also required Apple to publish the same notification in the first five pages of the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, The Guardian, Mobile Magazine and T3 magazine, in a font of no less than 14 pixels.

Apple objected and filed an appeal, arguing that the court's order would compromise its ability to protect its brand. Seven days ago, Apple's appeal was denied and so it is that the company has complied with the judgement within the specified time frame, in an 11px font. The mandated link -- "Samsung/Apple UK judgement" -- can be found on the bottom of Apple's U.K. website.

[ Read Apple Earnings Prompt iPad Questions. ]

But Apple is making the best of a judicial order to promote a competitor. In the required notice, it has included a quote from the judge overseeing the case that paints Samsung in a less than flattering light.

In his assessment of Apple's and Samsung's products, Judge Colin Birss characterized the iPad as having "a cool design." Samsung's Galaxy tablets didn't fare as well in the judge's estimation. "They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design," the judge said. "They are not as cool."

Apple's court-ordered notification, however, doesn't fully disavow the company's assertion that Samsung copied its products. It notes that a German court hearing a claim based on the same patent found that Samsung had competed unfairly by copying the iPad. It also highlights the the verdict of a U.S. jury over the summer, which found that Samsung did infringe and awarded Apple $1 billion in damages, a decision Samsung is appealing.

Earlier this week, a court in the Netherlands rejected Apple's claim that Samsung infringed Apple's multi-touch patent in its tablets and phones.

Editor's Choice
Brian T. Horowitz, Contributing Reporter
Samuel Greengard, Contributing Reporter
Nathan Eddy, Freelance Writer
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing