Apple must change 'untrue' Samsung apology, scolds UK court

Apple must alter its public statement acknowledging Samsung's infringement innocence within 48 hours, the court of appeal insists.

Apple's snarky admission that Samsung did not infringe upon its design patents must be revised, a court has decreed.

Back in October, the iPad-maker was told by UK courts that it had to acknowledge Samsung's innocence in this particular case. Apple complied, but its statement wasn't exactly contrite -- the aggressive acknowledgement could only be found via a tiny link on the Apple homepage, and concluded by once more insisting that Samsung "willfully copied Apple's far more popular iPad ".

Apple's huffy non-apology isn't exactly what the courts had in mind, however. Bloomberg quotes UK judges as saying Apple's notification was "untrue" and "incorrect".

"I'm at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this," said Judge Sir Robin Jacob of the court of appeal, calling the statement that went live a "plain breach of the order".

Apple was told it had to change the statement on its website within 48 hours and publish the revised version on its home page in at least size 11 font, the Guardian writes. Apple reportedly tried to argue that fixing the statement would take at least a fortnight, but the judge wasn't buying it.

Apple's statement doesn't actually have to be an "apology" to Samsung per se, but it has to clear up any consumer confusion regarding Samsung's behaviour.

"A consumer might well think 'I had better not buy a Samsung -- maybe it's illegal and if I buy one it may not be supported'," Judge Jacob wrote at the time. It would seem the court isn't satisfied that the first statement cleared up that confusion.

Apple took a gamble with its first 'apology', using the court-ordered statement as a platform to describe a case in Germany in which Samsung was found guilty of copying the iPad's design, and quote an earlier UK judge's comments that Samsung's rival devices were "not as cool".

It certainly didn't come off as sombre -- something we noted at the time. It looks like the courts weren't impressed either. Apple's original statement is still live, for now at least. The revised version will apparently have to linger on the Californian company's UK homepage until 14 December.

What action would you like to see Apple take? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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