Judge Orders Apple to Tell UK that Samsung Didn’t Copy iPad

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A judge in England has ordered Apple to proclaim to all the land that Samsung did not copy the iPad. That’s bitter medicine when contrasted with the ruling the order was based on: Judge Colin Birss ruled earlier in July that Samsung’s devices didn’t infringe on Apple’s design patent because they weren’t as cool as Apple’s iPad.

“[Samsung’s tablet designs] do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool,” Judge Birss said.

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At the time, that seemed like a hollow victory for Samsung. On the one hand the company was cleared of patent infringement claims from Apple in the UK, but at the same time a stodgy English judge was telling all the world that Samsung’s designs were…uncool.

In the new ruling, Judge Birss said that Apple must post on its UK website notice that Samsung didn’t copy the iPad. Bloomberg reported that the judge said this was needed to correct any impression that Samsung was the blatant and slavish copycat that Apple has asserted. He also said that Apple has to place similar notices in UK newspapers and magazines.

In court documents, Apple protested the order, saying that it amounted to Apple having to advertise for its competitor. “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website,” lawyer Richard Hacon told the court.

Apple will have to place the ads in The Financial Times, The Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3.

Apple will appeal the ruling, and Judge Birss gave his permission to pursue that appeal.

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Comments

John Molloy
ibuck

Am I the only one who finds this judge’s rulings and verbiage bizarre?

Whether or not something is cool (in the eye of the beholder) or clever, etc, does not seem relevant to whether or not someone copied another’s patented device / design / method.  And having to advertise the competitor’s name is also strange.

Is this judge trying to get patent litigants to avoid his courtroom? Or to get higher courts, or legislators, to strike down tech patent laws?

geoduck

Am I the only one who finds this judge?s rulings and verbiage bizarre?

Bizarre yes, and also insane, utterly illogical and outside of any legal justification.
Look at it this way: Weather you agree with the ruling or not,  Apple Sued for a perceived harm. The court said no it wasn’t. End of story. But no, now the judge wants to punish Apple for raising a legitimate claim. To force Apple to advertize Samsung’s device for six months just because Apple brought a legitimate question to the court.

This is just wrong. In fact it’s so wrong I wonder if it might be grounds to file to have the ruling overturned because of judicial bias.

Bryan Chaffin

Geoduck, England’s legal system seems to give judges far wider latitude than here in the States. Different system, different rules, what what?

geoduck

Different system, different rules, what what?

I suppose. Still seems like a very odd outcome though. I complain about a nuisance and suddenly I’m ordered to promote the nuisance.

Bryan Chaffin

For sure, geoduck. It’s got to be tilt-inducing in Cupertino and wherever Apple’s UK offices are. It will be interesting to see what the appeals court says.

iJack

Bryan; Geo.  Even in the UK litigants have the right of appeal, all the way up to the Law Lords (their Supreme Court, sorta).

daemon

iJack,

That was a Chancery Court, a court of Equity. The Law Lords rule on matters of Law, not Equity. The Chancery Courts were the last chance for people in England to get justice when the Laws failed to protect them, they were literally throwing themselves on the mercy of the Monarch, who delegated the actual act of listening to their pleas to the Chancellor…

In the US we combined the courts of Equity and Law into a single court system, all US courts are courts of Equity and Law.

Bizarre yes, and also insane, utterly illogical and outside of any legal justification.

That’s because it’s a Court of Equity and not a Court of Law….

See in the US, all of our courts are Courts of Equity and Law.

Geoduck, England?s legal system seems to give judges far wider latitude than here in the States. Different system, different rules, what what?

Actually our Judges have just as much latitude as the Judges in a Court of Equity like the Chancery Courts in the UK, because all US courts are Courts of Equity. However, our judges tend to be more conservative in their rulings. Hence why Judge Posner’s ruling was such a big deal, cause he wasn’t conservative in his use of Equity. But then, they asked him to rule on a matter of Equity, not law…

iJack

That was a Chancery Court, a court of Equity. The Law Lords rule on matters of Law, not Equity. The Chancery Courts were the last chance for people in England to get justice when the Laws failed to protect them, they were literally throwing themselves on the mercy of the Monarch, who delegated the actual act of listening to their pleas to the Chancellor?

Daemon ~ I’ve done some more digging since reading your post, and I have concluded we are both somewhat out of date on the court system in the UK.  There have been many substantial changes between 2000 and 2010.

In his piece here, Jeff Gamet points out that the case is being heard in the High Court of England and Wales. The High Court has three Division; Queen’s Bench (criminal), Family and Chancery, which is as you said, a court of equity.

However, even the High Court is far from being Apple’s “last chance.”  Above the High Court, is the Court of Appeals of England and Wales, specifically the Civil Division.  And if that isn’t good enough, beyond that is the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, today’s version of the Law Lords, and it will hear both criminal and civil appeals.
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Remind me some slow news day to tell you about my experience sitting in the dock at the Old Bailey, accused of Assault with Grievous Bodily Harm. Wigs, gowns, lotsa ‘milords’ the whole nine yards.  It was an eye-opening experience, especially since I was too young (and dumb) to be really nervous about my position.
wink

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