If you’ve been following the back-and-forth over Apple’s court-mandated “apology” to Samsung in the UK, you know it’s been Cupertino at its cheekiest.
It’s also been Cupertino at its most dishonest, according to a London High Court, and they’re had enough, slamming Apple for false and misleading statements about the trial… and ordering Apple to pay all of Samsung’s legal bills on top of things.
Here’s the history so far.
Ordered to publish a statement by the U.K. Court of Appeals both in print and online that Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tablets do not infringe upon Apple’s designs, Apple first tried to twist the apology to appear as if it were a court-mandated statement that the Galaxy Tab is “not as cool” as an iPad, and to make the United Kingdom’s judgment seem out of step with the rest of the world.
The London High Court has not been amused by these escapades, and published a judgment on Friday that went point-by-point through Apple’s various statements in the matter and admonished Apple for their misleading statements in very strong terms.
Over at Fortune, there’s a great breakdown off the court’s response, which does indeed make a damning case that not only was Apple not responding to the judgment within the spirit of the law, it wasn’t even being honest about the particulars of the case.
For example, in an attempt to make the U.K. court look out-of-touch with similar rulings internationally, Apple claimed that “in a case tried in Germany regarding the same patent, the court found that Samsung engaged in unfair competition by copying the iPad design.”
The court’s response? “No patent of any kind has been involved in Germany or here, still less ‘the same patent.'”
The U.K. court even objects to Apple’s characterization of the case by saying it’s about Samsung “copying” the design of the iPad.
“The false innuendo is that the UK court came to a different conclusion about copying, which is not true for the UK court did not form any view about copying. There is a further false innuendo that the UK court’s decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true,” wrote the court.
“The reality is that wherever Apple has sued on this registered design or its counterpart, it has ultimately failed. It may or may not have other intellectual property rights which are infringed. Indeed the same may be true the other way round for in some countries Samsung are suing Apple. But none of that has got anything to do with the registered design asserted by Apple in Europe. Apple’s additions to the ordered notice clearly muddied the water and the message obviously intended to be conveyed by it.”
To be honest, reading the court’s response point-by-point, Apple doesn’t look cheeky so much as outright petulant and dishonest. The court concluded: “I hope that the lack of integrity involved in this incident is entirely atypical of Apple.”
It might not be if Apple keeps losing cases against Samsung: this is part of Steve Jobs’s own “thermonuclear war” and for Cupertino, the stakes are huge.