A UK court found that Samsung did not infringe on Apple’s design, and asked Apple to publicly apologize to Samsung for wasting everyone’s time with the lawsuit. Here was Apple’s first apology, found through a link found at the bottom of Apple’s UK web page. Don’t see the actual “I’m sorry, Samsung?” Neither did the court, and it ordered Apple to put an altered statement on its homepage, post it in an obvious place, and leave it up for a month.
Apple then provided a link to this modified apology:
Samsung / Apple UK judgmentOn 9 July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computers, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s Community registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available from www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.
That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available from www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the Community registered design in force anywhere in Europe.
Still can’t see the “apology?” Neither did the court, who felt Apple not only did not follow the spirit of the demand for an apology, they decided to use Java script to push the link to the “apology” further down the page. The UK Court of Appeals showed its displeasure by ordering Apple to pay all of Samsung’s legal fees (on an “indemnity basis”) in the case.
Apple needs to tread carefully here. Making a mockery of the UK court's decision pushes Apple from the IP arena of patent protection to that of reputation, a much more fickle and delicate area to manage, and one that can put significant downward pressure on value.