U.K. court to Apple: Nix those 'untrue' anti-Samsung claims

Less than a month after Apple was ordered to add a court judgment to its U.K. Web site, the iPad maker now has to remove "incorrect" elements of the statement.

Zack Whittaker Writer-editor
Zack Whittaker is a former security editor for CNET's sister site ZDNet.
Zack Whittaker
3 min read
Apple iPad
Apple is now on to the fourth generation of its iPad tablet. CNET

Apple has been ordered by the U.K. Court of Appeal in London to remove an "untrue" and "incorrect" statement about Samsung from its U.K. Web site, in which the iPad maker continued to insist that Samsung did indeed copy Apple's products.

The statement, which can be found on Apple's U.K. Web site at the bottom of the page, riled U.K. appeal judges sufficiently to force Apple to remove the statement within 24 hours, reports Bloomberg.

This new ruling comes less than a month after a lower court ordered Apple to add the statement which stated Samsung did not copy the design of the iPad and therefore did not infringe a key Apple patent. Apple did so, but embellished the text with additional detail that was not sanctioned by the court.

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The first paragraph of the statement was court-ordered, as laid out by U.K. High Court Judge Colin Birss, in which the text had to include a specific 56-word statement along with a link to the judgment online. 

However, the subsequent paragraphs went above and beyond the call of duty in Apple's bid to justify the statement on its Web site. 

Apple expanded the court-ordered statement with two comparisons made by the judge in the original case between Apple's iPad and Samsung's Galaxy tablets, noting how the iPad was "a cool design," while noting the Samsung products are "not as cool." 

The final paragraph of the expanded statement, however, delivered a scathing attack on Samsung, which noted various similar cases around the world in regards to Apple's design patents for the iPad, including Germany and the United States. The technology giant made it clear that the U.K. ruling in Samsung's favor was a one-off event:

However, in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design. A U.S. jury also found Samsung guilty of infringing on Apple's design and utility patents, awarding over one billion U.S. dollars in damages to Apple Inc. So while the U.K. 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.

"I'm at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this," said U.K. appeals judge Robin Jacob, claiming the statement's expansion was a "plain breach of that order."

Apple lawyer Michael Beloff told the court that the iPhone and iPad maker complied with the original order. He said the order was not designed to punish Apple or "make [the company] grovel," adding: "The only purpose is to dispel commercial uncertainty."

The Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant requested 14 days to make the changes, which was also blasted by the court.

"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 [the U.K. website]," added Jacob.

The full text of the statement can be found here.

This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines under the headline "Apple ordered to remove 'untrue' anti-Samsung statement."