More than a few people were eager to see how Apple would comply with a British appellate-court order this summer to state publicly that tablet competitor Samsung had not copied its iPad design. Well, it’s done so, and at least three people — the appellate judges — are unhappy with Apple’s effort. Here’s the statement on apple.com.
Look at Apple’s statement below.
Apple, which had charged in the U.K. that Samsung infringed on its registered designs, but the original judge disagreed and took the unsusual step of ordering Apple to publicly state that it’s accusation was false.
According to The Guardian, the three-judge panel said that Apple’s statement does not comply and is erroneous. It has ordered Apple to publish a notice on its home page within 48 hours pointing to a corrected statement in, “not less than 11-point font,” according to the Guardian. Apple said that it could not comply in less than 14 days, which at least one judge found incredible.
Specifically, the judges took issue with how Apple its acknowledgement included statements from the original judge, Colin Birss; information about other, German, infringement actions; and the Apple vs. Samsung patent trial in California, which Apple won this summer.
According to Bloomberg, Apple lawyer Michael Beloff said of the court order and his firm’s response, “the only purpose is to dispel commercial uncertainty,” and that it was not “designed to punish, it is not designed to make us grovel.”
I think that the way Apple has fought the U.K. ruling and now how it has acted on its court-ordered obligations shows a company that thinks it is above the law. It is easy to imagine a boardroom full of Apple executives turning purple over the British court order. So, the best way to avoid looking bad is to fuzz the situation to make itself look good rather than give Samsung (and the U.K. court) an inch.
I think sometimes the high road is the one that holds the most honor, gains the most respect. Apple had an opportunity to both dispel commercial uncertaintly and regain honor and respect. It failed.