Back in July, Apple lost a court battle in the UK to ban the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab family of tablets, which it claimed infringed on its design patents. Judge Colin Briss took a dim view of Apple dragging Samsung’s name through the legal mud, and came up with a novel and particularly embarrassing punishment for the Cupertino company.
It was ordered to take out an advertisement in a selection of publications apologizing to Samsung, and stating that it did not copy the design of the iPad after all. Feasting on national humble pie was the least of Apple’s problems though, as the same apology would also have to appear on Apple’s own website, and it would have to stay there for six months.
The advert would also appear in the Financial Times, The Daily Mail and The Guardian newspapers, plus Mobile Magazine and T3 Magazine, all before page 6 and within 7 days of the decision. The Arial font size could be no smaller than 14pt, while on its website, 11pt would suffice, but it would also have to include a link to the judgment.
Apple appealed on the grounds that this would involve “public groveling,” and would interfere with the layout and design of its website, something it called “an important marketing tool.” A hearing was set for today, October 18, and the order was put on hold.
Sadly for Apple, the decision and punishment has been upheld, however there have been a few changes. Looking through the official court document, you can see the original wording of the advert is suggested in section 64, which has now been amended in section 87. Apple’s statement must read:
“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. That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal. 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.”
The order still applies to the newspapers and magazines, but the length of time the page must appear on Apple’s website has been reduced to a month. It’s also acceptable for Apple to hide the page away, and simply provide a link titled Samsung/Apple UK Judgment on the homepage.
Samsung told CNET UK that it welcomes the court’s decision, as it reaffirms its position “that our Galaxy Tab products do no infringe on Apple’s registered design right,” and that it “continues to believe” that Apple isn’t the “first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners.”
We’re waiting Apple…