Apple fights British law and loses

Apple’s British briefs are frantically coming up with a way of saying sorry which will appease the UK legal system.

In the recent case between Samsung and Apple, a British judge ordered Apple to say it was sorry for accusing Samsung of nicking its ideas.

Apple’s response was to issue an advert in which it failed to mention the S word at at all. Indeed a casual reader would think that Apple had won the court case.

Samsung complained that the notice posted by Apple was “inaccurate and misleading” because it added comments about other rulings in Germany and the US that had gone in the iPad-maker’s favour.

Samsung moaned that the posting had created the impression that the UK court is out of step with other courts, when in fact the ruling applied to the whole of the EU.

Now Apple has been told that it has 24 hours to re-write a statement on its website relating to its design rights dispute with Samsung which actually says “sorry”.

Michael Beloff QC, representing Apple, told judges that the company had complied with the court order, after all, you don’t have to say sorry to say sorry, do you?

He claimed that the text of the advert should not be required to punish Apple or to make the company grovel. The only purpose must be to dispel commercial uncertainty, he argued.

He asked for 14 days to post the replacement because typing a short apology such as “We are sorry for accusing Samsung of nicking our ideas” was technically difficult and took a lot longer than the two seconds it took us to type.

Lord Justice Longmore told Beloff the judges were amazed that a technology company like Apple found it so difficult to put the right notice up at the same time as it could take the other one down.

One of the other judges, Sir Robin Jacob, added he would like to see head of Apple Tim Cook make an affidavit about why that is such a technical difficulty for Apple.