Yes, Apple, You Have To Tell The UK Public That Samsung Didn't Copy You

from the silver-lining:-you're-still-cooler dept

While Apple won its big case (so far) against Samsung in the US, over in the UK it was the exact opposite, with the judge telling Apple that it needed to run advertisements saying that Samsung didn’t copy Apple’s products. The silver lining for Apple: part of the judge’s reasoning was that Samsung’s products just weren’t “cool,” while Apple’s were. Either way, Apple fought back and argued that it shouldn’t have to advertise that Samsung didn’t copy Apple — and, in fact, tried again to convince the court that, no, really, of course Samsung copied it.

It appears that strategy has failed, as the judges handling the appeal have refused to overturn the original ruling, saying that it was important that Apple clear up confusion that might occur among the public:

“The acknowledgment must come from the horse’s mouth,” they said. “Nothing short of that will be sure to do the job completely.”

While I find the ruling amusing, I’m really not sure that it makes sense. I find Apple’s attacks on Samsung silly and counterproductive, but forcing it to advertise that Samsung didn’t copy Apple may go too far in compelling a company to say things.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: apple, samsung

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Yes, Apple, You Have To Tell The UK Public That Samsung Didn't Copy You”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Let me begin by saying I don’t agree with anything Apple.

They filed a suit and consequently lost; so be it. If they filed a false suit then impose a fine, reimburse the defendant, revoke the patent, whatever, but I don’t really see where any “justice” is being served by forcing Apple to advertise the ruling of the court.

Although, forcing a con-artist to admit they’re just trying to rip people off might get them to stop wasting their money on useless crap.

If they really wanted to do something original, they could buy out the press already telling everyone about the court order to tell everyone about the court’s ruling and make them still turn a profit – now that’s “innovation.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Exactly, Apple behaved in a manner that deserves a lot more of a legal punishment to set precedent for these kinds of bogus patent suits that are just a clear money-grab serving no other purpose than to create a false advantage of market share while injuring competition.

If they win, they get billions – if they loose, take out an ad. Does that sound like justice to you?

G Thompson (profile) says:

I think paragraph 4 of the ruling states it all:

So this case is all about, and only about, Apple’s registered design and the Samsung products. The registered design is not the same as the design of the iPad. It is quite a lot different. For instance the iPad is a lot thinner, and has noticeably different curves on its sides. There may be other differences – even though I own one, I have not made a detailed comparison. Whether the iPad would fall within the scope of protection of the registered design is completely irrelevant. We are not deciding that one way or the other. This case must be decided as if the iPad never existed. [emphasis added]

In other words Apple have been blabbering and screaming to the media and anyone who will listen that Samsung Copied the iPad” when they instead in the UK (and elsewhere) took Samsung to task over the alleged infringement of a registered design (think design patent for those in USA)

This was absolutely wrongful on Apple’s behalf and highly misleading to state “copy” in context with the iPad.

Therefore Apple need to pay the piper by making the public aware that Apple wrongfully and fraudulently misled them.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Samsung is getting equal humiliation out of this as well. It was a very public case and the judge knew it was. He lost his common sense and basically told a respectable Asian company that their product was inferior and way less cool. I mean that’s just unprofessional for any judge or magistrate to do that. G Thompson I was beginning to miss seeing you on here.

I still think South Korea had the best ruling.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes I agree the statement of “not as cool” in HHJ Birss’s judgement was not necessary nor warranted even though it was obiter.

Though it seems that statement and Apple’s usage of it to be granted the Oberlandesgericht order has made them even more responsible for making this court [at 78 to 88] not only enforce the original order for publicity but to change it to reflect the current state of things.

It was originally:

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 not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link [link given]

It is now

On 9th 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 registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link [link given].

That Judgement has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal on ?.. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available on the following link [?]. There is no injunction in respect of the registered design in force anywhere in Europe. [found at ]

Personally I think Apple got what they deserved, especially if you look at what they tried to do to Samsung elsewhere in regards to publicity orders etc. The court was generous actually.

Though Samsung’s behaviour hasn’t been any better in some respects.

awww you missed me? well As I tell my wife.. Keep working on it and your aim will surely improve 😉

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

But the judgment did not take a position on whether Apple copied the iPad, because that was not the issue at court — as the judge was careful to point out. The only question was whether Samsung infringed on the protected device as described in the patent application. As the judge pointed out, these differ from each other.

So from a legal point of view, it is still open whether Samsung copied iPad. And Samsung may well have. And that would be legal, insofar as the Ipad is not protected by the patent, or the court (by its own admission) either admitted that it was not covered, or did not even attempt to determine whether it was covered.

And it might even be a healthy and good thing for technology to progress by copying, as long as the copying is legal. Samsung could even assert this.

In this context — that the issue of copying was not addressed by the court — why shouldn’t Apple have the right to continue to claim that it was copied?

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Because they have told the media and potential customers that they took Samsung to court for copying and that is blatantly false and misleading.

Also on the point of copying the Appeals judge (who looks at it all de novo even) talks about how Apple wanted scope creep on their design so that any further interations were also a part of the original design registration/patent. Which leads one to posit that they are talking about any copying of anything they think MIGHT occur ever. The Judge placed them on notice about this methodology

[at 54] I would add that even if I were forming my own view of the matter, I would have come to the same conclusion and for the same reasons. If the registered design has a scope as wide as Apple contends it would foreclose much of the market for tablet computers. Alterations in thickness, curvature of the sides, embellishment and so on would not escape its grasp. Legitimate competition by different designs would be stifled.[emphasis added]

Therefore even copying is ok in this context.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Or to go further — it might be appropriate to force Apple to make public statements, but only concerning matters that were actually determined by the court. Here are two interesting statements from the ruling that the court could order Apple to make public:

(1) According to the opinion of the court, the iPad may not be patent protected, because in the opinion of the court Apple may have built a slightly different device. In any case the court has no opinion. Therefore it may be legal to copy the iPad.

(2) In the opinion of the court, the Ipad is cooler than the copy.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The public statements they are ordered to make are ONLY concerning the matters before the court. They have not been told to do anything else, that was made clear in the recent judgement.

As for your point #2, since this court looked at everything de novo (afresh) they don’t have to say one is “cooler” than the other, in fact the judges state they have no opinion on it either way, and reading between the lines, the appeals court is NOT happy with that original obiter wording from HHJ Birss either.

Wally (profile) says:


I sort found it amusing but the thoughts in my head when the ruling came out immediately ran to “It’s a very very inappropriate ruling”. I can easily tell you why I think that. It goes a tad deeper than counter-productivity.

Simply put, the judge acted inappropriately. Maybe it’s just me, (I’m no expert in British Law) but I don’t see how that helps either company. I mean you have Apple having to advertise for Samsung saying Samsung didn’t copy. However, at the same time the judge made it particularly public fashion that in his opinion, Samsung was a weak product. I’m quite surprised Samsung hasn’t grasped the fact that they got humiliated as much as Apple would have in advertising for them.

I like South Korea’s ruling inbthe matter best. Everybody’s infringement canceled each other out and in South Korea, that ruling was with prejudice.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Amused.

It’s not inappropriate. While the lawsuit was pending, which Apple ultimately lost, Apple made a huge public stink about it and damaged the reputation of a competitor. That makes it very appropriate.

Otherwise, Apple could just repeat this behavior as part of marketing strategy. Sue while expecting to lose, make huge public noise quoting court documents, lose lawsuit, no harm no foul.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Amused.

Shh. Wally is an Apple fan. Logic need not be applied to an Apple related story.

Not that this isn’t the first time Apple’s done something like this. During the Galaxy Nexus hearings to determine if it would banned from being sold, Apple went out of their way to email and fax documents to retailers effectively saying, “It’s illegal! Stop selling it! Now!” Despite the fact that it wasn’t and they were still in the process of determining whether there would be an import/sales ban.

It was only after several tech sites heard about this (and received documentation from various retailers) that Apple quit doing that, but only after being called out for doing that in the first place.

Apple is a company that firmly believes in “do what I say, not what I do”.

Wally (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Amused.

AC, I’m looking past your trolling and dis-information about me. DannyB, I’m not saying Apple shouldn’t be punished, it’s just how the verdict was carried out. A judge would have been de-benched here in the states for such insolent a verdict.

Either way both companies suffer from the verdict. Yes, Apple needed to be punished for its stupidity in the matter, but does that make it right for a judge or magistrate to act as this one did? It’s quite clear it could have been handled better so it would not humiliate a major South East Asian company such as Samsung. But no, the judge said “It’s a far cooler product,” and thus severely risking Samsung’s reputation.

Geeb says:

Possibly related context

The UK has been debating libel laws recently, and one of the big things that has come out is that people aren’t really that bothered about damages (ie cash compensation), but they do want their reputations repaired. Usually a newspaper will print “CELEBRITY MARRIES GOAT” in three-inch letters on the front page, then a week later put up an apology in 8pt on page 17. One of the proposals is that the retraction should be at least as prominent as the original, so that the readers are likely to see it and give it credence. Obviously this isn’t a libel case, but I wonder if some of the same thinking is at work – if Apple shout “copycat” then a certain group of people will listen, and a direct retraction from Apple is likely to be the best way to get the “actually they’re not” message to that same group.

nospacesorspecialcharacters (profile) says:

Re: Possibly related context

Exactly This.

If you’ll forgive me for employing a hyperbolic technique that’s usually used by the trolls here – imagine someone on trial accused of pedophilia. The victims parents take every opportunity in every interview and public speech to state that the defendant is a pedophile.

Then some crucial evidence comes out that the defendant actually did not commit the crime after all. The parents and child are still victims, but that doesn’t negate the damage they’ve done to the reputation of the accused (who is now also a victim).

Therefore it would be fair for the judge to order them to publicly retract their earlier statements (whilst they work on finding the real perp). After all they should have waited until the trial was over before making public statements as “fact”.

This has been a problem in the UK recently and it is right to make Apple accountable for their vexatious PR stabs. What I’m really interested to know now is if Samsung gets to use the new UK disclaimer in their appeal in the US trial!

Anonymous Coward says:

remember that Apple started this shit! what they have now got to do, under protest, is exactly the same as they expected Samsung to do. bit different now the shoe is on the other foot, eh? it’s about time Apple had some real serious fucks stuck into them! they are so quick to sue for use of what they class as theirs, when the chances are it never was to begin with, but equally as fast to use someone else stuff and expect to do so for free, just because they are so massive a company, the financial muscle they have puts up the ‘scared of litigation’ barrier. nothing but an arse hole company that over charges for stuff that people are gullible enough to keep supporting!

Lisa Westveld (profile) says:

Well, the effect of this ruling could be that Apple is now forced to tell the World (okay, just the UK) that Samsung did NOT copy them. Such a confession might have some additional effects on similar cases world-wide and possibly even help with the case in the USA, which Apple won.
In the USA, Samsung could now present this advertisement/confession from Apple and turn that ruling around…
Of course, not just in the USA. It could happen everywhere, where Apple sued Samsung over the design. Apple is forced to confes they’ve been wrong. Such a confession can be very valuable, when other courts recognize it as such.

Michael (profile) says:

It depends on how you frame the message

Well, apparently we were wrong. We though Samsung had copied our products and were making phones and tables that could rival our iProducts.

We have been told, very clearly, that the Samsung products are inferior.

You have our sincere apology for any confusion we have caused over who makes the best phones and tables.

Wayne Masters says:

Despite what some simple minded judges in the US might think, corporations are in actuality NOT human beings, do not have the “right” to free speech and can indeed be compelled to say things when necessary. The employees of Apple can disagree and can easily find many media outlets to publish those views, so there is nothing limiting the free speech rights of anyone who works for Apple. Apple itself, not being a person, has no such “right”.

kenichi tanaka says:

Finally, Apple has come up against a court system that simply won’t bow to its perceived “God-granted immunity”. Thankfully, the court system in the U.K. has realized that it’s not beholden to the interests of Apple.

While U.K. law isn’t binding on American courts, it certainly grants it a new argument in the lawsuits they are involved with against Apple and it could prove to be major hit for Apple, considering that they have a multitude of lawsuits aimed at Samsung.

Apple needs to realize that they do not have immunity from lawsuit judgments against their own company and the fact that they are also being forced to reveal potentially damaging sales data, such data that they don’t even reveal to their stockholders, they are finding out that they are losing the fight.

Kudos to the U.K. court system for not bowing to Apple’s side.

Gregg says:

excellent solution

I wish more Judges did this. It would make companies think twice about frivolous law suites! money is money, sure, but making a company publicly apologize and also post it on their website! priceless. They’ll think twice next time they bring up a stupid law suite like this. And you don’t see this level of law suites happening in any other industry except the tech industry! your ford looks a helluva lot like my toyota….hmmmm 4 wheels, steering wheel…4 seats! copy cat!

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...