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Apple Posts Backhanded Apology in UK That Samsung Did Not Infringe on Its Patents

Because a UK court ruled that Samsung did not infringe on a design patent that Apple owns, the Cupertino company was forced into posting up a public apology on both its website and in print ads, to make sure the world was aware of the situation. If such a ruling involved a normal company, the apology and brief note in ads would probably be straight forward, with a simple one or two line remark about the whole ordeal. But no, this is Apple, the company that can do no wrong. 

This morning, Apple posted its “apology” to its UK site, only it’s not an apology at all. In fact, it talks more about how “cool” their tablet is, how “not as cool” the Samsung tablets are, and that in a couple of other countries, other courts found that Samsung did infringe on Apple patents.

Samsung / Apple UK judgment

On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic(UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do notinfringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the Highcourt is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.

In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:

“The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design.”

“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.”

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe.

However, 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.

I get that this decision by a UK judge was probably not exactly what Apple was hoping for. In fact, it’s a little embarrassing. But when ordered to do something, you essentially do the opposite, and use it as a way to trash on the company you are supposed to be apologizing to? Only Apple. The sad thing is, this isn’t surprising at all. If you follow the company’s history, you would probably think that they had never made a mistake in their history, well other than Maps, and that took days of pain and mockery before Tim Cook would publicly acknowledge it.

I ranted a bit on Twitter yesterday over a similar situation that involved Apple, so the timing of this couldn’t have been better. Without going through that whole mess again, I’ll just ask this – isn’t it time Apple grows up?

Via:  Apple

Cheers Ryan and Ben!

  • duke69111

    I don’t see we’re sorry or we apologize anywhere.

  • Ah Apple, you never cease to act like a 2-year old.

  • chris125

    Did you really expect anything else from them? I mean this coming from the same company who said they would never make smaller tablets and would never make a 7″ tablet because theirs is 7.9 lol. It is apple it only counts if they say so

  • lunas

    Is Apple just asking to get its was kicked off some one did that the apology would btw roped in half and they would get beat down and shoved into a locker.

    All Apple had to do was say I am sorry in 14pt Arial. Hell isorry is even less memorable. They could have made it an app .

    • Sam’s Son

      I would have got a kick out of them if they put that haha.

  • joejoe5709

    Haha, One one hand I laughed because it’s the perfect response from an arrogant company that obviously still thinks they’re in the right. This was easily written by an attorney with the clear direction of never admitting anything. It quotes the judge and it states all the important information so in those respects it’s perfect. But an apology this is not. Try again harder next time, Apple.

  • Farmerson Jr.

    Now that Samsung is no longer supplying apple with their screens Apple will hopefully fail. Apple and MS are a necessary idiocy in this world and those that can live without them just stand in awe of the sheep that blindly follow.

  • “The sad thing is, this isn’t surprising at all. If you follow the company’s history, you would probably think that they had never made a mistake in their history, well other than Maps, and that took days of pain and mockery before Tim Cook would publicly acknowledge it.”

    Don’t forget antennagate 😛

  • Neomastermind

    They weren’t ordered to give an “apology.” I think it was more along the lines of acknowledging it and letting the public know.

  • pimfram

    Stay classy, Apple.

  • richard melcher

    I was looking for the words to express my frustration about this, looks like you found them Kellex 🙂

  • Stevedub40

    I am so sick of apple these days. I can’t wait till this fad passes over and they go back under their little “niche” rock that they crawled out from.

  • razr user

    the ruling didn’t call for a literal “apology” but having to say “they were right, they didn’t infringe” sort of sounds like it should be an apology. All apple did was butter it up with praises for their products and turning the notice to an ad for apple products. Distasteful but from a business point of view, they turned a negative into a positive. sneaky b@[email protected]$.

  • whats more stupid then this “apology?” The ipad 4 hahahaha. they are really selling it as the ipad with retina display lolol. i thought they used that on the ipad 3

  • Harbo99

    so I had to pull my galaxy tab out of the case to see what “unusual” details were on the back. Are they talking about the brushed aluminum look or is it the SAMSUNG logo that is “unusual”?

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    “Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information
    Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a
    garden of pure ideology. Where each worker may bloom secure from the pests of
    contradictory and confusing truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful
    a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one
    resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury
    them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!”

    That is the text from the 1984 Macintosh commercial. The speech is given by the enemy of Apple and it is Apple that supposedly fights to break free from those oppressions. Nowadays, this sounds like Apple’s mission statement.

    It is with great irony that Apple has become the very people they used to loathe. They have become the locked down, the void of customization, the intollerant of competition, and now they are the one’s decrying how they will prevail.

    http://youtu.be/OYecfV3ubP8 < Give it a watch and see who reminds you of who.

    • Gr8Ape

      lol. HA! i had forgotten that Apple saw itself as a blonde with a hammer.

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        Funny huh? Breaking the mold. Now they are trying to be the mold.

  • Ken

    This is supposedly a very big Android blog/website and yet you can seriously pout and whine about Apple all the time. Find me a major Apple blog/website that does this to Android. You can’t. iPhone users are simply beyond this childishness you display Kellex. Maybe you have internal issues you should seek help about.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      I take it you haven’t been on Macrumors.com … If you feel iphone users are above and beyond, “shield thy eyes oh lord”.

    • Neomastermind

      Now, I have a one-sided opinion considering I only frequent one Android-centric blog and no Apple-centric blogs because Apple news isn’t really all that fascinating. I like Apple, but they’re not THAT fascinating. I like Android and it IS fascinating because there are so many things that change in the world of Android. However, this blog does whine and poke fun of Apple a lot. It actually irks me how much “Apple” content I get on this site. That, and Android fanboys (not regular sensible fans) are downright annoying, Kellex included at times.