Apple loses UK appeal against Samsung, now must say sorry

Apple has been ordered to say that Samsung didn't infringe upon its patents, on its own site and in national newspapers.

Luke Westaway
Luke Westaway Senior editor
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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Watch this: CNET News Apple apology ordered

Apple has lost a UK appeal against Samsung, which means the iPad-spawning company will now have to issue a public apology to the Galaxy S3-maker.

Back in July a judge ruled that Samsung's tablets weren't that similar to Apple's own, rather cuttingly saying that the Galaxy range of tablet devices weren't cool, and lacked the "extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design."

Apple was ordered by the judge to run a series of ads saying that Samsung hadn't infringed upon its intellectual property. As you would expect, the Californian company protested that ruling, but today its moans have been overruled by a London High Court.

The earlier court decision ordered Apple to post a notice on its website saying that Samsung didn't copy its designs, within seven days and, "in a font size no smaller than Arial 11pt." That notice must stay online for six months.

Apple was also told to make its apology public via newspapers and magazines. The ruling requires Apple post the same notice "on a page earlier than page 6" in the "Financial Times, Daily Mail, The Guardian, Mobile Magazine and T3 magazine." Those notices must be written in no smaller than Arial 14pt.

Judge Sir Robin Jacob writes that he had a mind to block that publicity order thanks to the media storm the earlier "not cool" verdict had created. Thanks to confusion with litigation in Germany however, he notes, "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'." As such the apology "must come from the horse's mouth".

If you're interested in the verdict, I'd recommend perusing the court notes yourself -- they make for interesting reading.

In a statement sent to CNET UK, Samsung says, "We welcome the court's judgement, which reaffirmed our position that our Galaxy Tab products do not infringe Apple's registered design right."

The South Korean tech giant goes on to say, "We continue to believe that Apple was not the first to design a tablet with a rectangular shape and rounded corners and that the origins of Apple's registered design features can be found in numerous examples of prior art."

Meow! Samsung ends by saying that if Apple keeps making "excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited."

What do you think of the judgement? Should Apple be forced to say sorry? Stick your opinions in the comments or on our Facebook wall.