Apple Changes Its UK Samsung 'Apology,' But Makes Sure You Have To Scroll To See It

from the but-of-course dept

Apparently Apple didn't need two weeks to put up a new "apology" statement on its UK website after the first obnoxious one was deemed not good enough by the UK courts. As you may recall, Apple was told by the court that it had to tell the world that Samsung didn't copy Apple's design on some of its devices, after a judge ruled that Apple's devices were simply much cooler.

Apple has now put up its new statement and linked to it from its UK home page in a large font. The full statement is a lot shorter and doesn't include anything about how "cool" Apple's products are or the other court cases around the world. It has also admitted that the first statement was "inaccurate and did not comply" with the original court order:
Of course, it appears that Apple couldn't resist an attempt to continue to be slightly petulant in doing this, though it did so in a way that it hoped the judge wouldn't notice, by hiding it in the javascript. However, as the eagle eyes at Hacker News and Reddit quickly pointed out, Apple had added a bit of javascript to make sure that, no matter how big you enlarged the browser window, the link to the apology and the statement about it were below the fold. That is, there is no way to view that statement without first having to scroll down on the Apple page.

To be honest, I find it a little silly that the judge is requiring this statement at all. It seems to be going beyond what's reasonable already (and it seems wrong to require Apple to put a statement on its own website). Anyone who really cares about this stuff will see the news. That said, I find Apple's response to this ridiculous and that much more perplexing. Each attempt to somehow not fully comply with the judge's demand just calls that much more attention to the situation and the fact that Apple lost and Samsung didn't copy it. If Apple had just complied normally, this story would already be over.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Ninja (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 3:27am

    Well, their arrogance cost them the iPhone trademark in Mexico already. They'll be put back to their place one failure at a time ;)

     

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    Duke (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 4:37am

    Defending Apple...

    As loath as I am to defend Apple, the new site design may not be directly related with the English judgment.

    According to this place, the site re-design happened a couple of days after the first Court of Appeal ruling, but before they put the first notice on it - and a couple of days before the latest iProduct was announced. A quick check of some of the other national sites seems to indicate that the same re-sizing is happening on all of them (aside from the raw .com/ version).

    The effect of the change seems to be to bury all the general legal blurb and links below the bottom of the screen and, if there isn't room for everything, make sure the main advert takes up as much space as possible. It strikes me as a very "Apple" thing to do anyway (clean / minimalist etc., keeping the workings out of sight).

    While the timing is suspicious/convenient, I'm not sure Apple's behaviour is quite as silly as some people are making out.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 5:46am

      Re: Defending Apple...

      Hogwash. This is Apple. APPLE. A company loathe to admit they were wrong or to say they are sorry. For anything. A company that prides itself on its arrogance and belief in its invulnerability. A company that spends far more time in a courtroom than anywhere else.

      I believe they did this specifically to ensure this court ruling cannot be seen without extra effort by the site visitor.

      It's sad and it's pathetic. And what's worse, if it weren't for the sorry state of patent law, this wouldn't even be happening.

       

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      Mr. Applegate, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:34am

      Re: Defending Apple...

      Yes, the site re-design happened just days AFTER the verdict. That alone one could accept, however, given the bad faith first apology, the fact the design change is not reflected on Apple.com and the general disdain shown by Apple to the UK court (and Samsung), I doubt that this was coincidental.

      The Court should have specified the Color, Point and Location (Top of Page). Since, at least in my opinion burying the notice 'below the fold' is not in keeping with the spirit of the order.

      When you add this to the lawsuit lost by Apple over 'iFone' in Mexico, and other Apple rantings, I see a dull future for Apple. I didn't think it was possible to make Microsoft look good, but Apple is managing to do just that.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:44am

        Re: Re: Defending Apple...

        The difference is that Microsoft isn't as over-concerned about its reputation as Apple is (well, it is, but it responds better). To some extent, after a point, Microsoft has no problems publicly admitting its mistakes and assuring the public it is doing its best to correct them. Which, really, is the smart thing to do and is what a company, with a sensible PR department, concerned about its reputation should do.

        Apple is so bent on protecting its reputation that its overzealous efforts to do so are actually what's ruining it. It can't ever admit to any mistakes, even in the case of clear and obvious public evidence, and so when these obvious and publicly open mistakes do happen their response is sometimes the only thing that ruins their reputation.

         

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      PolyPusher (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 8:46am

      Re: Defending Apple...

      I have no love for Apple either but my initial reaction was similar to yours.

      Until I visited the site and noticed that if you resize the page to smaller than the minimum vertical height, it clips off the navigation menus from the top yet still maintains the bottom of the page at all times being just above the statement.

      Apple sacrificed their navigation menus? That just doesn't strike my as part of an unrelated design change, it's very un-Apple...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 5:37am

    dont remember, Mike, you making any comment about how silly and/or ridiculous it was when Apple, if they won the case, wanted the court to order the same thing done by Samsung. had Apple not been such arrogant arse holes, who cant compete fairly in the market place, none of this would have been necessary anyway

     

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    FuzzyDuck, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 5:44am

    Tasering a corporation

    This whole public apology saga is kind of like tasering a corporation. I like it.

     

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    CSMcDonald (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 5:47am

    Um, yes, but...

    All of their international sites have this javascript whether they need to have the statement regarding the Samsung judgement or not. So apparently they're tweaking the judge on all their sites (besides the US one).

    Don't be so quick to find evil everywhere - Apple does enough scummy things for real without having to reach to find them

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:06am

      Re: Um, yes, but...

      Or maybe they planned this design in advance, just to hide that notice...

      (or maybe they just forgot about the new layout and didn't think to put the notice at the top of the page or something so it wouldn't be hidden)

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 8:39am

      Re: Um, yes, but...

      All of their international sites have this javascript whether they need to have the statement regarding the Samsung judgement or not.


      But why did they use the javascript footer to show the link to the statement? they could have put it anywhere else on the page.

      Apple does enough scummy things for real without having to reach to find them


      I don't think this is even a slight stretch, let alone a reach.

       

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    silverscarcat (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 5:51am

    If this was Samsung...

    You know DAMN well that Apple would be SCREAMING its head off about how Samsung isn't following orders.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 5:55am

    Not that silly at all...

    I don't think the judges order is silly. It is a way to fight back against those ridiculous and damaging patent wars. Obviously the cost of the legal fight is no deterrent at all to fighting bogus lawsuits, as we see over and over again. But as you can see from their attempts at noncompliance, they really, really don't want to be publicly outed that way.

    Who cares if the people who care about patent lawsuits know it already? They were never interesting to begin with. It's the general public, the mainstream consumer that might notice this that counts. Because from the interested few the story of 'check that link there and laugh about Apple' might get viral and get quite a few laughs at Apples expense. And the internet famously will not forget. You might be able to see this years later in some archive. That is why Apple is fighting so hard, and that is why this is, in my opinion, important. Because the possibility of such judgements might be an effective deterrent against the constant threat of going nuclear patentwise.

     

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    @(TM), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:18am

    So...

    THAT'S why they said they needed two weeks!

     

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    DannyB (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    The judge was right to order Apple to apologize

    Mike, I disagree. Here is why I believe it was right for the judge to require apple to publish a statement.

    It is one thing to file a patent lawsuit and lose.

    It is a different thing to file a patent lawsuit, go on a very public rampage, make very loud and repeated public statements to damage a competitor in the market, and then lose.

    Way back in SCO vs The World we learned a technique that SCO used. Make loud public statements damaging a competitor by citing things you said in court documents. Hey, it's court documents - verbatim. And those documents are public. It isn't defamation to say bad things, even untrue things, about a competitor in a court filing. Neat trick.

    The judge isn't trying to make Apple feel contrite or repentant in some way. The court is trying to get Apple to undo the public damage it has done. Apple, being Apple, is too arrogant to have any interest in anything resembling basic fairness. Therefore, requiring Apple to do this sends them a message to possibly rethink things better than a mere monetary penalty could ever do.

    A long time ago, I was once a long time Mac developer and card-carrying Apple fanboy. I understand the arrogant elitist attitude Apple fans have. I've been there, done that myself.

     

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      Duke (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:39am

      Re: The judge was right to order Apple to apologize

      It is a different thing to file a patent lawsuit, go on a very public rampage, make very loud and repeated public statements to damage a competitor in the market, and then lose.
      Technically in the English case Samsung sued Apple, seeking a declaratory judgment that they weren't infringing. This raised problems with whether or not the Court could impose this sort of order, and whether it should.

      But yes, the reasoning is more or less the same:
      In my judgment, Apple are carefully trying to say something which contains an innuendo that Samsung infringe without actually saying it. The reference to copying is exactly that. It is clear that copying plays no part in this case for Registered Community Design infringement, but to many people outside the circles of intellectual property law to say something infringes a Registered Community Design and to say someone copied your design or your product is to say the same thing.

       

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    Nil Son, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Fuck Apple. But kudos to them for giving the finger to the feds.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:37am

      Re:

      Protip - It's not the Feds. It's the High Court in Britain.

      The last company to try and fob them off was NewsCorp, whose management of the British arm ahs been eviscerated in the wake of phone hacking.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:37am

    Meanwhile, in the real world, people still don't give a shit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 6:57am

    I think apple deserves what it got. In fact it keeps finding clever ways to dodge the order so I'd say the judge didn't specify it well enough.

     

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    Aztecian (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:08am

    The Apple Effect?

    I'm surprised ( a little) that Apple seems to have forgotten or overlooked the Striesand effect. Maybe they think it doesn't apply to them...they are, after all, Apple.

    The more they drag this out, the more of us who didn't really care one way or the other (me!) get interested enough to go look.

    It's interesting to see how much Apple can act like a little kid forced by parents to appologize when their heart ain't in it. Lawyers+Public Relations*arrogance=entertainment*amazement/irritation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:09am

    I wonder if the judge will slap apple again with stating that they have to make this apology in a prominant postion whereby people can see it and not under some bar where it is now.

     

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    Pixelation, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:14am

    Next, the judge should have Tim Cook tattoo an apology on his forehead.

     

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      Almost Anonymous (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:27am

      Re:

      You, sir, win one internets!

      Although judging by recent actions, I'm sure he'd just grow his hair long so you couldn't see it.

       

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      Mr. Applegate, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:44am

      Re:

      Don't you think it would be better to have him tattoo it to what he has been showing to the world anyway (His ASS)?

      Make sure to specify Type Color, Size and Location as well that it must be well lit and uncovered, and visible from at least 30 feet.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    another tidbit from reddit, theres javascript to determine the amount of the displayed page that was actually viewed by visitors (if, say, 70% of the page is displayed when its loaded, and 30% is hidden, they'll know you scrolled all the way down if percentviewed goes to 100%).

    not that they cant track visitors to the page with the statement itself, they can, but this way they can see how many people are scrolling down at all.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:27am

    "A long time ago, I was once a long time Mac developer and card-carrying Apple fanboy. I understand the arrogant elitist attitude Apple fans have. I've been there, done that myself."

    Yes, OMG they are horrid. The MAIN reason I don't own any Apple devices... well... is their fans.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:30am

    i am waiting to see how big the fine is for contempt of court as Apple is doing it's damnedest to do what the court says without doing it how the court says. could be wrong but reckon there will be retaliation when the court finds out that Apple is taking the piss. they need to remember, we're talking about the UK here, not the US

     

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      vbevan (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 10:01pm

      Re:

      How big can contempt fines get? Though even $100,000 won't phase Apple much. Personally, I think a night or two in jail for the lawyers who authorised the apology would be much more effective in getting the next one compliant.

       

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    Trails (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:34am

    This seems a little conspiracy theory to me

    The javascript is coded to maximize the ipad mini placement. I don't think the judge ordered the statement to be above the fold (correct me if I'm wrong pls), hence, not really sure what the problem is.

    If you were in charge of the layout of the Apple homepage, what would you prioritize? The new product your bonus is most likely tied to selling, or some legal statement?

    IMO, after the previous lame and petulant statement, Apple has finally complied, let's move on.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 8:42am

      Re: This seems a little conspiracy theory to me

      If you were in charge of the layout of the Apple homepage, what would you prioritize?


      In a case like this, I'd prioritize whatever the legal team told me to prioritize. I guarantee the web developers did not make this decision.

       

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        Trails (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re: This seems a little conspiracy theory to me

        I guarantee they did, or more specifically the design team responsible for the web site. Having worked with corporate lawyers on web things, I would bet good money the discussion went like this:

        "We gotta put this statement on the homepage."
        "In the footer again?"
        "Yep"

        The result of:

        "We need to add this to the homepage, be sure it's below the fold"

        would look different from a coding perspective.

        Further, in my experience, that nuanced a thought with respect to web page layout and "folds" is beyond most corporate lawyers.

        Finally, back to what I hope is not a misstatement of your point (again, pls correct if wrong) "the legal team told the web team to prioritize the ipad mini product launch over the statement wrt samsung" I would say "yes" and "so what?"

        They posted it on their homepage. It was (finally) a decent statement. While they played silly games earlier, this seems to me to be completely in line with the spirit and letter of the ruling (unless I missed something which I grant is possible).

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re: This seems a little conspiracy theory to me

          hile they played silly games earlier, this seems to me to be completely in line with the spirit and letter of the ruling (unless I missed something which I grant is possible).


          It may be within the letter of the ruling (but then, the original statement was as well), but it's certainly not within the spirit of it.

          The whole purpose is to get Apple to correct the misleading things they'd been publicly saying about Samsung. Hiding the statement is not in the spirit of that at all.

           

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    Matt Williams, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Next?

    You might like the next version of the Apple UK homepage - click the apology that's in full view at the top of the page.

    Unfortunately you need a mouse to experience this properly - it won't work on an iPad.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:35am

    Oh noes, they force you to SCROLL! SCROLL?!?! AAAHHHHH THE INJUSTICE!!!

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 7:46am

    Waiting for something important to start the week...

    "Anyone who really cares about this stuff will see the news." -- You mean already has.

    So why repeat it here, Mike? You've added nothing. In fact, you subtract with either misunderstanding or just not wanting to see a corporation pay for its crimes: "It seems to be going beyond what's reasonable already (and it seems wrong to require Apple to put a statement on its own website)." -- Apple is being "punished" (very little so far) for libeling Samsung, and then again for weaseling on the notice so that it appeared the ruling didn't apply to entire EU.

     

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      Gwiz (profile), Nov 5th, 2012 @ 8:01am

      Re: Waiting for something important to start the week...

      You've added nothing.

      Blue might possibly be on to something here.

      After all, he is pro when it comes to adding nothing to a conversation.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 9:08am

        Re: Re: Waiting for something important to start the week...

        And he's an expert when it comes to taking away nothing from a conversation either!

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Does anyone love the irony in that Apple, a company who refuses to apologise, fired one of their executives for....(drum roll)...refusing to apologise! (tish)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    The managers at Apple must be 10 years old.

    This is just hilarious.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 5th, 2012 @ 11:23pm

    Apple needs to tell the UK to go fuck off.. I mean it's their website not mine not yours and not the UK governments.

    If they wanted an apology they should have just made them do it on the news.

     

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