Blog Post

Bad Apple: UK judges rip iPad maker over “lack of integrity”

Apple (s aapl) and the British judiciary have been engaged in an ongoing tit-for-tat over a requirement that Apple tell Brits that its bitter rival Samsung didn’t copy the iPad. Today, the judges got the last word with a stinging rebuke to Apple.

In case you missed it, the fuss began in July when a UK judge declared that Samsung’s Galaxy tablet did not infringe on design rights for the iPad because it was “not as cool.” The judge then ordered Apple to place a notice on its website and in newspapers to clear up public perceptions.

Apple complied, sort of. Rather than posting the notice as it was told, Apple added extra wording to say that America and Germany had found Samsung infringed its patents — suggesting, in other words, that the UK court was an ass. Apple also added code to its website ensure the apology notice was hard to see.

Today, angry judges from the Court of Appeal for England and Wales issued a formal decision calling Apple’s behavior “disturbing” and “lackadaisical,” and concluding with the “hope that the lack of integrity involved in this incident is entirely atypical of Apple.” They also expressed incredulity at Apple’s  claim that it would need two weeks to fix the website notice.

The order said:  “that it was beyond the technical abilities of Apple to make the minor changes required to own website in less time beggared belief.”

The judges appeared especially miffed by the press coverage of Apple’s earlier defiance. The decision cites a headline by British IT blog The Register that read “APPLE: SCREW YOU, BRITS, everyone else says Samsung copied us.” The judges said the press coverage was full of mistakes but said Apple could be held responsible for this since it contributed to this through “inaccurate statements and false innuendo.”

The matter now appears over once and overall. There is now a message on Apple’s UK website saying that Apple’s earlier statement was inaccurate, and providing a link to the court judgments:

25 Responses to “Bad Apple: UK judges rip iPad maker over “lack of integrity””

  1. The death of Steve Jobs is the death of Apple. Since he passed away, Apple has been twisting and turning fighting to survive but to no avail. Its dying a slow painful death because Apple has a cancer. If you hold Apple stock, its time to dump. The good days are over. Its time to buy Samsung stocks.

  2. The world is laughing

    the british court system is so archaic that it looks bordering on buffoonery, wigs aside.
    Apple should have put on their website, that the court had ruled the samsung tablet is so shoddy
    that it could never be an apple resembling product. What the judges don’t understand is Samsung
    used cheap materials that made it appear crappy but the intent of copying is so clearly evident.

  3. Patent disputes are, by their nature, subjective. What is important is that Apple respect the laws in every country it sells its products. No one wants the world’s greatest tech company to become too arrogant for its own good.

  4. How upsetting it must be for Americans to find out that their country’s patent system and trial examination is so broken that only in the US, and only in Apple’s own county, could they win an absurd claim to own the shape of rounded rectangles. And they needed a biased and leading jury foreman to accomplish that. How galling then, to find out that in the rest of the world, where anity prevails, Apple’s endless tedious lawsuits are exposed for the legal nuisance and patent trolling they are, and Apple acts all butthurt when rightly ordered to publicly apologise for its dickish pointlessness. As long as the US allows its biggest conglomerate aristocracy corporates to dominate and monopsonise its economy, it’s going to continue being relegated to an uncompetitive, closed and relatively shrinking economic system. Just like the British Empire in the late 19th century, in fact, just as the new young and open German and American empires were expanding…

  5. brian robinson

    do they think they invented every thing.
    apple are quit blatantly saying that ,people who buy ipads
    could make a mistake and buy galaxy tab.
    so are these people stupid…

    • Jenny Zilga

      What copying round corners? Ha! The only thing Apple ever had was clout and deceptively good marketing gimmicks. They never had technology they took that from UNIX, which the open source community willing gave up, but then was kicked to the curb, they never had hardware which they relied on Samsung, which Samsung now is charging them more. What does Apple and Mr Jobs the ass do except make trouble and deceive people? Yes, they are really amazing capitalists…err scam artists. Apple’s time is up, its karma has come full circle.

  6. poqeteer

    I think it was a silly ruling itself, but really, is Apple so arrogant as to slip a court in the face and get away with it? All this really does is make those who dislike the company, dislike them even more. These actions raise Apple in the public eye, which it likes to do, but in the wrong way.

  7. Michael W. Perry

    About a decade ago, I was involved in a copyright dispute and sat amazed with the other side attempted to argue with the federal court judge who was trying their case. “This is very stupid,” I told myself. I was bending over backwards to be cooperative with the judge. As arrogant, Manhattan lawyers, they weren’t.

    I ended up winning when their lawsuit was dismissed ‘with prejudice.’ I like to think it was on the merits, but their attempting to bully the judge did not help their side.

    Personally, I’m surprised the court didn’t up their requirements, perhaps by forcing Apple to take out full-page ads in the major UK newspapers or create prime-time TV spots to be reviewed by the court beforehand.. Judges do not like to be mocked.

    Keep in mind that, in the end all these silly moves have given Apple’s court loss to Samsung far more publicity than it would have otherwise gotten. Apple’s UK lawyers seem a few beers short of a six-pack.

  8. Carl Hancock

    That’s what the judges get for issuing their absurd ruling that Apple had to put a notice that effectively gives Samsung advertising on the Apple site. Kudos to Apple for making a mockery of the absurd requirement.

    • Jon LeJeune

      I completely agree. A public apology is not going to effectively increase public perception of Samsung tablets; all it does is give bad publicity to apple. Samsung is just just spiteful that apple dominates the tablet market and they don’t, and the reason is not because the public thinks that they copied apple, but rather that their tablets are crap.