The U.K. courts -- the same ones which purportedly ruled recently that Samsung's Galaxy Tab didn't copy the iPad because "it wasn't cool enough" -- have now ruled that Apple must publicly alert the British people of that judgement. Bloomberg reports:
As well as Apple’s website, the company must pay for notices in the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3, according to a draft copy of the order provided by Samsung’s lawyers.
Apple, who doesn't even like to refer to competitors unless they're anthropomorphized in TV commercials, shown off as being equal attenuated on websites, or lacking tablet apps but not calcium content in keynotes, is already appealing the July 9 order.
If Apple succeeds on appeal, it will no doubt be onward and upward to the next round of patent litigation. If it fails, it will be interesting to see how Apple will comply with the order. Will it be the barest, blandest, legalese possible? Will it be as passive aggressive as possible? Or could they find a way to turn even an apology into a tactical advantage?
Apple and Samsung have been waging global thermonuclear patent war since Apple went on first-strike offensive in April 2011, saying:
Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products.
It's been up and down, back and forth since then. Complicating thing further, Apple remains Samsung's single largest manufacturing partner, with Samsung supplying key parts of the technology they're simultaneously accused of copying. Despite ongoing talks between Apple CEO Tim Cook and Samsung CEO Choi Gee-Sung, no resolution has been found, and court cases continue.
We discussed a lot of this in detail on the iMore show last night, including whether similar looking products make technology as a whole more accessible to mainstream users. (When's the last time you saw a refrigerator trade-dress suit?) I also poked more than a little fun at the situation on yesterday's iMore today...
If, ultimately, Apple has to apologize for calling Samsung a copyist on page 3 of some U.K. papers, well that's the price that sometimes has to be paid when playing high stakes patent poker.
Barring success in appeal, any suggestions for Apple on how they should apologize? Head on over to the comments on the YouTube video above and give us your funniest, wittiest, more creative Apple apology and you'll automagically be entered to win a $50 iTunes gift certificate -- because sometimes consumers deserve to be the ones that win.