Judges say Apple statement on Samsung went too far

Apple lost a court battle with Samsung last month, and was ordered to post a statement to its Website admitting that Samsung did not infringe on its patents. But a trio of British judges are unhappy with the tone Apple struck in the statement. 

Samsung won a victory in UK court last month. Now, Apple must revise a public statement admitting Samsung did not infringe on its patents.

Apple has long contended that Samsung, in building its Android line of phones and tablets, stole a few design cues from the iPhone and iPad. But last month, Apple definitively lost a legal battle in the UK to prove those claims, and a British court ordered Apple to post a statement on its Website, admitting Samsung didn't actually steal anything. Which Apple has done – sort of. 

In the statement, Apple included two paragraphs taken directly from the ruling, including a line that basically inferred that the Galaxy tablets weren't copied from the iPad, because the iPad is actually "cool." (We're not kidding – take a look.) Apparently unable to resist itself, the company then noted that a similar case in Germany had found Samsung guilty of engaging in "unfair competition." 

"A US 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.," Apple wrote. "So while the UK 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." 

Needless to say, this distinctly non-apologetic statement, which was brought to the attention of the UK court by Samsung, has not made the the presiding judges very happy. According to the BBC, Lord Justice Longmore, Lord Justice Kitchin, and Sir Robin Jacob say Apple is "non-compliant," and has given the Cupertino tech company 48 hours to post a more appropriate statement to their site. 

"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,'" Jacob wrote in the ruling. "Apple itself must (having created the confusion) make the position clear: that it acknowledges that the court has decided that these Samsung products do not infringe its registered design."

In addition, the judges said, the post should not be buried in a corner of the Apple site – instead, it should appear front and center, on the UK version of the Apple homepage. Apple has agreed to make the changes. 

So what's next for Apple and Samsung? More lawsuits. But over at Computer world, Jonny Evans says it may be time to "give peace a chance" – to halt the fighting and get back to innovating. 

"Personal opinion aside, the smartphone wars must stop. I wish all the parties in all this foolish litigation would simply man up, say sorry, and reach non-punitive deals with one another, so the focus could turn to products, not politics," Evans writes. "Everyone has attempted to make their point, it’s time for litigation to end." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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