Apple obeys the letter but not the spirit of the law
In losing its design case against Samsung in July, and the subsequent appeal earlier this month, Apple was ordered by the court to display a statement on its website confirming that the Samsung Galaxy Tab does not infringe the Apple iPad’s registered design. It has now obeyed the letter of the law and has posted the required statement in full, viz:
On 9th July 2012 the High Court of Justice of England and Wales ruled that Samsung Electronic (UK) Limited’s Galaxy Tablet Computer, namely the Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 do not infringe Apple’s registered design No. 0000181607-0001. A copy of the full judgment of the High court is available on the following link http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.
However, in typical Apple style it has turned defeat into victory by adding several additional paragraphs – including, for example, the famous statement that Apple “is cool”, while Samsung is “not as cool”. Apple’s statement concludes with a completely new paragraph:
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.
This, surely, is Apple obeying the letter of the law, but wilfully disregarding and exploiting the spirit of the law.