After months of media hype and courtroom battles, Samsung was finally ordered to pay Apple $1.05 billion by a U.S. court a couple of months ago, for infringing the company's design patents. On the other side of the pond, however, things haven't been quite as clear cut, with a UK judge ordering Apple to publish ads stating that Samsung did not copy the iPad at all.

Today, Apple has posted a statement on its UK website saying just that, but its PR team has also taken the opportunity to say a few more words about Samsung as well.

After noting that "the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001", the statement goes on to quote the UK judge, who said that one of the reasons behind this is because Samsung's products "are not as cool" as Apple's.

The statement continues by pointing out that, although the UK judge doesn't believe that Apple's designs have been copied, courts in Germany disagreed, finding that "Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design."

With Apple clearly determined to have the last word in this battle, the final sentence reads, "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'd like to say that this is the last we're going to hear of the battle between the two companies, but somehow, I think both parties will be looking to land another punch in the future. To be continued...

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.

Source: Apple UK

(Thanks, Debadatta)

John Thompson
John's been addicted to technology ever since he tinkered with his first custom built PC when he was 10 years old. He's also the proud owner of seven Amazon Kindles, but only because he destroyed the first six.

  • TheKaz1969

    ugh. The judge should have just written the thing for them so we (well, the users in the UK) wouldn't have to read this drivel...

    • http://twitter.com/havens1515 Randroid

      As it is now, we "uninformed users" wouldn't buy an iProduct. Because if we were "informed users" we would know that they are "cooler". Never been more proud to say that I'm "uninformed".

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    This really is the sign of childish behavior. A real company (or any responsible adult) would have taking their beating, licked their wounds, and put it behind them.

    Is it possible for a company to be passive aggressive?

    • http://twitter.com/kfestus kfestus

      Agreed. Another reason for me to withhold my money from Apple . This is antisocial, bullying behavior.

  • Jeff

    Wow. Last paragraph. A "fuck you, UK judge" statement.
    They're so full of shit. Grow up, apple.

    • Jeff

      Actually; the entire thing is pretty snarky. "Lul, he called it cool though. So we win, in a sense!"

    • GlennStile

      Actually I think this is contempt of court, Hope the Judge makes them re-write it, The UK High Court should not be made to look foolish or incorrect

      "Contempt of court is a court order which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, declares a person or organization to have disobeyed or been disrespectful of the court's authority"

      • New_Guy

        I say that would fit the description. I wouldn't be surprised is the court has the final say in this whole thing.

      • DCMAKER

        great point i would love the UK courts to slap a huge fine on apple :P

    • New_Guy

      Good luck with them ever winning a decision in the UK after that...

  • George Tunaya III

    Apple - "We're based out of America - so that's all that matters to us. We don't care who we crap on in the future. This means you right now U.K."

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    Serious question for anybody who knows. Does the UK court have the same notion of 'contempt' as US courts and is this the type of stunt that could possibly earn further punishment? Honestly, upon consideration, I feel that above all else, Apple is ultimately mocking the judge and court directly. If I were the judge, I'd probably be pretty unhappy with Apple's handling of the sentence.

    • GlennStile

      Yes we do have the same notion, and it can land you in prison for 2 years. That final paragraph is blatant contempt of court..

    • LazarusDark

      I completely agree, this is not what the judge intended. If I were him I'd consider this an insult to his authority and make them rewrite it. (assuming he has the authority, which I assume he does since he already had the authority to order this in the first place)

  • Tucker Chastain

    I dislike the way Apple handles things just as much as the next guy, but did we really expect anything else from them? I think the best thing they could have done was be as generic as possible. They should have known everyone would be reading it & if it was simply put, it would probably not gain as much attention.

  • Jameslepable

    Apple is basically dissing a whole countries court (my country). It's basically saying "according to the UK Samsung didn't infringe. But look at other countries and they said they did so nuh nuh" they should be held in contempt. They also failed to mention that the apple v Samsung case in the states ruled the tablets did NOT infringe and was awarded $0 for any tablet. And in Germany they got a preliminary injunction. The case has yet gone to trial. There has not been a single trial where apple won based in design patient for the tablet.

  • http://www.change.org/petitions/supporting-the-irish-nation-step-down-from-government Peeed Off

    It's the way they are holding it...Apple will be in decline soon, there are just too many Tablet/Phone formats...Android & MS will take over, the Apple iOS is just way too dated, and they have no one with any imagination left to come up with anything new...Au revoir apple...Your childishness will bring you down...!!!

    • Logan B.

      As much as I would like to agree with you, I don't see Apple going anywhere for a good long while. They've got such an incredibly loyal following that, at this point, will do anything for the Apple logo. Just think of a company like Valve (if you're into video games), they could literally release crap in a box (Toilet Simulator?), and their fans would be adamant that it was one of Valve's best games ever.

      Apple won't die, but you're right, if they keep holding it this way (which is a phrase I love in this context), they will very much be on the decline before very long.

      • http://www.change.org/petitions/supporting-the-irish-nation-step-down-from-government Peeed Off

        By soon I meant over a period of time (Worded wrong) The following they have will tire of the same old iOS over time, as their main innovator is no more. i actually liked Steve jobs way of doing things, just not his products. However the current crowd in charge seem to want to act more like school children with their current antics.

        And when a child cannot think for himself and work out what to do next, he sometimes turns into the school yard bully, as Apple are doing now.

        But eventually the Bully gets left behind, and no one wants to play with him any more...!!!

      • Freak4Dell

        They're already on the decline. Their growth has stopped increasing as rapidly as it did before, while Android's hasn't. I don't think they'll just vanish into thin air, but I think they'll get to and be stuck that that 25% marketshare level, give or take a few points.

  • http://iamandroid.co/profile/rocktoonz Rocktoonz

    There's no way that this statement will satisfy the UK Judge's ruling. Apple was to take out ads stating Samsung didn't infringe, not issue a statement saying they were told to do so but don't agree with it. Don't be surprised to see that judge hold Apple in contempt of court (assuming that the UK has such a thing) over this statement, because that's pretty blatant contempt in that statement.

  • Spatchcock

    I think Apple showed outright contempt for the court and indeed the law
    itself simply by bringing these bullshit lawsuits to court in the 1st
    place. The British judge probably felt the same and his order to publish
    a statement on the website backs that up. I have long been an admirer
    of Apple products and own not just a macbook pro but also an iMac (as
    well as various Windows, Android and Blackberry devices) but the company
    itself is bang out of order in the way they do business. Not just with
    rival companies but also with the consumer. The whole locked down
    "walled garden" approach is bad enough in itself but a lot of us still
    remember the fake "Apple police" raid on the guy who bought the lost
    iPhone 4 prototype as well as the hatchet job they did on Final Cut Pro X
    which has got video editors switching back to Avid Media Composer in
    droves. Now they're wasting various courts in multiple countries time in
    an attempt to squash the competition and deprive us, the paying public
    of standard current technological advancements. Steve Jobs himself
    admitted plagarising Sony and other manufacturers IP ferchrissakes. I'm
    not into fanboyism and I can't stand the people who are. It's stupid,
    sad and petty and makes me long for the days when there wasn't so many
    idiots on the internet but the longer they keep this shit up the less
    loyalty they'll get from me.

  • Kris

    Is anyone surprised by Apple being petty though?

    I know I'm not surprised, not in the least.

  • Forcemaker

    Well, well, well... that one would have been the better one:


    (Just skip the german text to the english comic strip)

    • Matthew Fry

      People have been making what we thought were childish and ridiculous versions of what Apple's statement would be. Turns out they were not that far off.

  • Uncle Rico

    fucking lawyers... in the words of Sam Axe... "bunch of little bitches"!!

    • spydie

      "A bunch of bitchy little girls"... Sam Axe

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664659068 Paul Finlay

    Hmm, so whose kids got hold of the company laptop?

    • Matthew Fry

      IF only.

  • flosserelli

    I always thought Apple was run by a bunch of douchebags, but this takes the cake. I can't imagine that UK judge tolerating this level arrogance and utter disregard for the court order. Apple can forget about any favorable decisions in the UK from this point forward.

  • Goldenpins

    This whole apology thing is a humongous insult to Samsung. Basically saying they didn't copy us here but they did in Germany. Instead of just doing what the judge asked , they decided to use word play. Accept your loss and move on.

  • GraveUypo

    really now... apple seems to think their glass rectangle is cooler than a dog on goggles flying a ww2 fighter biplane while smoking a cigar.

  • http://www.facebook.com/EoinOL Eoin OL

    When I read the text on Apple's website, one thing I immediately noticed was that in saying that Samsung's devices "do not infringe" Apple's patents, the word "not" was hanging at the end of a line, specifically the easiest place for humans to miss while reading text.

    I thought that was probably co-incidence until I checked the source code of that page, which shows that the wrapping of that paragraph has been specifically hard-coded, line-by-line (if you check the code, this is what the span tags are doing). No other paragraph has this, they're all just text that Apple doesn't really care about the placement of.

    Apple wants people to misread that paragraph as saying that Samsung's devices "do infringe".

    (Actually, Apple don't want people reading it at all - that's why the first paragraph is such an awkward thing to read, with the full name of each device, the full registered design number, and the unwieldy URL. If people do read it, however, then Apple want them to misread it whenever possible).

  • oneillperson

    There's no way they should let this slide. The entire thing is designed to suggest that Samsung did in fact copy Apple.

    Last phrase: "Samsung willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad."

  • Freak4Dell

    Even in their apologies, they're complete dicks. I really hope the judge holds them in contempt.

  • cooldoods

    Free publicity for Samsung on their competitor's website as well as the accompanying news articles highlighting that fact: still a plus. I think with every legal tussle Samsung gets stronger because consumers tend to be curious what Samsung products are about and will probably try them out in stores. Samsung has a great reputation for TVs, computers, phones, and appliances so people will probably recognize the lawsuits as just anti-competitive actions by Apple and notice the actual differences between Samsung and Apple products.

  • Cherokee4Life

    P.S. Apple your a dick. Just state the UK court made you do it and be done with it. Don't go into how much Samsung had to pay you in other legal battles and shit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Issui Nuno Veiga

    Is it possible that they don't realize that if you call yourself cool you'll end up sounding extremely uncool and douchey?