For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

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Saturday, 3 November 2012

From defiance to compliance: Apple amends its notice

The sign that says it all ...
All good things must come to an end, and the saga of Apple's reluctance to post a public statement on its UK website to the effect that Samsung had not after all infringed its Community registered design looks as if it has finally rolled to a halt. No desperate appeal, no reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union -- just an act of compliance in place of the company's previous defiance.

The following notice appears at the foot of the UK website's home page:
On 25 October 2012, Apple Inc. published a statement on its UK website in relation to Samsung's Galaxy tablet computers. That statement was inaccurate and did not comply with the order of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. The correct statement is at Samsung/Apple UK judgement.
The hyperlink leads through to the following text:
Samsung / Apple UK judgment 
On 9 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 Community registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High Court is available from www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.

That Judgment has effect throughout the European Union and was upheld by the Court of Appeal of England and Wales on 18 October 2012. A copy of the Court of Appeal’s judgment is available from www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2012/1339.html. There is no injunction in respect of the Community registered design in force anywhere in Europe.
The IPKat wonders whether this episode will make owners of IP rights in Europe think twice before bringing infringement litigation in the UK, or indeed elsewhere now that this case has been given such wide publicity in legal circles, in circumstances where there is a very public battle between the respective parties and the purchasing habits of the consuming public might be influenced by the wrongful perception that they were buying an infringing product.

Merpel thinks that, as a matter of prudent practice, litigants or their representatives may want to have a draft notice prepared ahead of the court's decision and which can be publicised if the court so orders, without the need for recourse to one or more further hearings.

5 comments:

Hans Sachs said...

How about some alternative messages that Apple may have thought about?

E.g.:
• We at Apple reluctantly acknowledge, without prejudice, that we did not invent the rectangle, at least in the EU. However, we are delighted that the UK Courts have confirmed that we are “cool”. We thank those dudes on the bench with the way cool wigs.
• We may border on misuse of IP and contempt of court, but heh, we can afford to be that way and we are, above all, “cool”
• We at Apple are contrite, cool and confident that the 9th Circuit (our home turf) will get this right.

Anonymous said...

Is this really over?
Apple are currently using javascript to resize the top portion of their website, so that the apology is never visible when you first load the page - however big your browser window/screen.

Given that the page is designed to look as if there is no more information worth scrolling down for - this makes the apology very nearly invisible.

The active nature of the resizing is a pretty agressive move; This isn't just a case of putting something at the bottom of the page.

http://www.iphonehacks.com/2012/11/apple-accused-of-hiding-samsung-apology-on-its-uk-website.html

Ron said...

On my laptop, a link to the message appears at the bottom of the Apple Uk home page as soon as it opens, but I am still using Windows XP with IE7.

Anonymous said...

This may be back in Court soon:

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/apple-accused-of-hiding-samsung-apology-on-uk-homepage-50009680/

Anonymous said...

Oh what a tangled web, &c...

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