Apple has been ordered by the U.K. Court of Appeal in London to revise a statement on its website about its lawsuit with Samsung Electronics. The judges say the statement is “untrue” and “incorrect.”
The U.K. Court of Appeal in London ordered Apple to remove the statement within 24 hours and replace it with a new notice acknowledging the inaccurate comments.
“I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this,” Judge Robin Jacob said today. “That is a plain breach of the order.”
The decision is just the latest in a lawsuit between the two electronics companies that led to a July judgement in another London court that said the design for three Samsung tablets didn’t infringe Apple’s design because they were “not as cool.” Apple was ordered by that court last month to post a notice on its website acknowledging the ruling that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets didn’t copy the design of Apple’s iPad.
The court order was for a simple notice on Apple’s website about the October 18th judgement to correct the impression that Samsung had copied Apple’s product.
Apple’s posting went above and beyond the order, inserting four paragraphs which referenced the original “not as cool” ruling that appeared to favor Apple, and also including the details of a German lawsuit where Samsung was found to have infringed on Apple’s designs.
Samsung’s lawyer, Henry Carr said in a filing that the notice created the “impression that the U.K. court is out of step with other courts.”
“It was clear the judges were not happy with what Apple had done,” Gary Moss, a lawyer at EIP Partnership LLP who isn’t involved in the case but attended today’s hearing, said in a phone interview. “They thought Apple was playing fast and loose.”
A spokesman for Apple declined to comment on the ruling. An Apple lawyer, Michael Beloff, told the court that the comments were in line with the original order, saying the notice was not designed to punish or make Apple grovel, that the only purpose was to dispel commercial uncertainty.
Apple’s request for two weeks to make the changes on the website were immediately rejected, with Judge Jacob saying, “I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit setting out the technical difficulties which means Apple can’t put this on. I just can’t believe the instructions you’ve been given. This is Apple. They cannot put something on their website?”
Apple is now required to add a three sentence note on its homepage acknowledging “the incorrect statement,” linking to the new notice.
Also, as in the original court order, Apple must publish notices in U.K. newspapers and trade magazines with details about the ruling.
These rulings are all a part of the global legal battle between Apple and its rivals, which includes Samsung, HTC, and Google. As they fight for dominance in the marketplace, they also continue the fight for legal dominance.