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Apple Ordered to Update Publicity Notice

December 5, 2012

The English Court of Appeal has ordered Apple to correct a statement on its website relating to its long-running dispute with Samsung.

In July, the English High Court found that Samsung’s Galaxy tablet did not infringe Apple’s iPad design rights. Following its ruling, the High Court further ordered Apple to publish a notice on its UK website and in UK newspapers publicising the fact that it had lost its case against Samsung and making it clear that no infringement of its registered design rights had taken place. This order was made following claims by Samsung that, notwithstanding the findings of the High Court, Apple had continued to make allegations of infringement. The Court ordered that the notice remain on Apple’s UK website for a period of six months and that a link to the full judgment of the Court be included. (View a previous article here.)

Both the findings of non-infringement and the imposition of the publicity order were upheld on appeal to the English Court of Appeal. However, the Court reduced the required publication period to one month.

In purported compliance with the publicity order, Apple posted a link to a notice entitled “Samsung/Apple UK judgment” at the bottom of its website alongside its “Terms of Use”, “Privacy Policy” and “Use of Cookies” links. The notice included extracts from the July High Court decision, including the judge’s much publicised comment that Samsung Galaxy tablets are “not as cool” as iPads. The notice also referred to a decision of the German courts that Samsung had engaged in unfair competition by copying the design of the iPad and to a United States decision that Samsung had infringed Apple’s patents. It ended with the comment that “while the UK court did not find Samsung guilty of infringement, other courts have recognised that in the course of creating its Galaxy tablet, Samsung willfully copied Apple’s far more popular iPad”.

The English Court of Appeal is understood to have upheld a further complaint by Samsung as regards the content of the notice. Apple’s UK website now carries a new notice stating that the previous notice “was inaccurate and did not comply with the order of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales”. A link is now provided to a new statement, which confirms that the English High Court has ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets do not infringe Apple’s registered design and that this ruling was upheld on appeal and has effect throughout the EU. A link is also provided to the both the English High Court and the English Court of Appeal judgments.

Contributed by Brian McElligott

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