While Apple might have won a battle in the patent war over the Galaxy Tab vs. the iPad in the U.S., it didn’t do so well in the U.K. As part of losing its court case against Samsung, Apple was ordered to post a public acknowledgement on its UK home page, as well as take out advertisements in major UK publications to correct the damaging effect of the case on Samsung’s brand of tablets.
In halfway compliance, Apple posted a link to a page with the acknowledgement at the bottom of its page, where most people wouldn’t see it. In the acknowledgement itself, it also added in content beyond the ordered requirements that made it sound as if the court was completely wrong in its judgment against Apple. As result the UK court has held Apple in non-compliance and ordered Apple to change the wording of the statement, place it on its home page, and use at least 11 point font. Apple’s lawyers initially rebutted that such drastic changes would take two weeks to accomplish, but that didn’t fly with the court.
We’ll see in 48 hours or less how Apple responds, but in the meantime you can check out the current acknowledgement and position on the site via the screenshot above and quote below from Apple’s website.
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.