Appeal court judge says Apple published ‘false and misleading’ material after order to acknowledge legal defeat
A senior judge has criticised Apple again in the latest round of a legal row between the iPad maker and rival Samsung.
Sir Robin Jacob said Apple had published “false and misleading” material, and suggested the firm had shown a “lack of integrity” by saying staff would need two weeks to make “minor changes” to the company website.
This month the court of appeal ruled against Apple after Samsung complained about a notice Apple posted online acknowledging defeat in a design dispute at the high court. Samsung said Apple had added an account of court proceedings in Germany and the US which was “inaccurate and misleading”.
Three judges – Jacob, Lord Justice Longmore and Lord Justice Kitchin – agreed that the statement did not comply with a court order and said Apple should post another statement. On Friday they gave their written reasons.
“What Apple added was false and misleading,” Sir Robin said in the written decision. “There is a false innuendo that the UK court’s decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true.”
He said Apple had asked for two weeks to post a new notice. “I found that very disturbing: that it was beyond the technical abilities of Apple to make the minor changes required to its own website in less time beggared belief. In end we gave it 48 hours which in itself I consider generous.
“We said the time could be extended by an application supported by an affidavit from a senior executive explaining the reasons why more was needed. In the event no such application was made.”
The judge added: “I hope that the lack of integrity involved in this incident is entirely atypical of Apple.” Lord Justice Longmore and Lord Justice Kitchin said they agreed.
In July the high court ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Tab was not “cool” enough to be confused with Apple’s iPad, and that three Galaxy models did not infringe Apple’s registered design. Last month Apple failed to overturn that ruling in the appeal court, and on 26 October it published the notice of defeat.
At the hearing of Samsung’s complaint on 1 November, Longmore told a lawyer representing Apple: “We are just amazed that you cannot put the right notice up at the same time as you take the other one down.” Jacob added: “I don’t believe the instructions you have been given. This is that Apple cannot put something on their own website?”
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