Apple is rather adept at saying sorry. Take, for example, its recent mea culpa
over the Maps fiasco. That was a solid apology
, written by the company’s CEO.
When a court orders Apple to apologize, the result is much different—and awfully snarky.
At least that’s the case in an unusual apology
the company posted online today.
The statement is the result of a high court ruling in the U.K. that ordered the
California-based company to eat crow publicly after losing an appeal
to a judge’s ruling that Samsung did not infringe upon its design.
Apple complied with the order, posting the offering of remorse to Samsung (if that’s what you would call it) on the Web early this morning—in Arial font, as mandated by the court
—and it’s a must-read for anyone in the apology-writing business.
The statement begins in a dry, straightforward manner:
“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 www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/1882.html.”
And then the fun begins (for Apple); it follows that paragraph with two direct quotes from the court’s ruling.
“In the ruling, the judge made several important points comparing the designs of the Apple and Samsung products:
“‘The extreme simplicity of the Apple design is striking. Overall it has undecorated flat surfaces with a plate of glass on the front all the way out to a very thin rim and a blank back. There is a crisp edge around the rim and a combination of curves, both at the corners and the sides. The design looks like an object the informed user would want to pick up and hold. It is an understated, smooth and simple product. It is a cool design.’
“‘The informed user's overall impression of each of the Samsung Galaxy Tablets is the following. From the front they belong to the family which includes the Apple design; but the Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool.’”
Those paragraphs are followed by another small chunk of legalese and then a final swipe at Samsung:
“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.”
Ouch. Some apology, eh?
As you might imagine, the tech press in the U.K. and the U.S. howled over the statement. Some gave Apple a pat on the back, while others called the tech giant childish in issuing such a non-apology.
According to the court’s ruling, the statement will appear in British newspapers.