October 26, 2012
All Apologies – Apple Complies With British Ruling And Issues An Apology Of Sorts
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Earlier this summer, a British judge handed down a very memorable ruling in the Apple v Samsung Global Tour of Legal Showmanship. It´s likely Judge Birss didn´t realize (or maybe he did) what would happen when he explained the obvious difference between Apple and Samsung tablets, referring to the latter as “not as cool,” but he certainly gave the Cupertino Kids all the ammunition they´d need for future battles.
Last week, a UK Court of Appeals rejected Apple´s appeal to overturn Judge Birss´ ruling that Samsung had not copied Apple´s designs. This court also upheld another Birss judgment, forcing Apple to post apologies in certain British publications and on their own Web site.
Today, as many visitors to Apple.com are looking to pre-order a new iPad mini, Apple has posted a small footnote of a link on the home page which leads visitors to a written “apology.”
As anyone who had a troublesome or rambunctious childhood can testify, Apple´s “apology” is far from it. They were, however, able to use the ammunition given them by Judge Birss, quoting him word for word when he described the obvious differences between the Samsung tablets and Apple´s.
“On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronics (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,” begins Apple in their “apology.”
In fact, this little note is more a statement of facts than an actual admission of wrong doing. The word “apology” never makes an appearance in this statement, but this memorable quote from Judge Birss does: "The (iPad) 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.”
Then later: “(Samsung does not) have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."
After admitting their defeat, Apple, ever the clever lot, went on to brag on their successes around the globe.
In the finishing paragraph, Apple brings up the fact that a German court had ruled in Apple´s favor, saying Samsung had engaged in “unfair competition” by copying the design of the iPad.
This summer´s hottest legal battle in the West Coast also makes an appearance in this acknowledgment as Apple casually mentions the fact that Samsung has to pay more than 1 billion dollars in damages.
Apple concludes: “So while the UK 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.”
To be fair, Apple was only asked to acknowledge the fact that they had been bested by Samsung in the UK. The word “apology” or “apologize” never appears in a Reuters report explaining the High Court of Appeals ruling, either. Apple was only made to pay for the ads and use a typeface no smaller than Ariel 14, a further kick in the gut to a company who not only appreciates good design, but likes to make their own decisions.
Though we´ll likely begin to see pictures very soon of Apple´s admission of defeat in adverts across the pond, Apple picked a very good day to post this on their Web site. What better way to cover up this unpleasant duty than with a hot new mini tablet?