Apple's Non-Apology Annoys Judge - InformationWeek

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11/1/2012
12:54 PM
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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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