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11.02.12

Apple Must Apologise to Judges, Not Just to Samsung and Android

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Deception, GNU/Linux, Google at 12:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple’s tribalism backfires

Football

Summary: Apple’s Hubris and reluctance to comply with court orders is costing it not just in bad publicity but also a more severe and stern order

Apple is a nasty company based on its behaviour in recent years. It’s not mere emotion that makes one call Apple “nasty”; this has become a widely-held perception, sometimes about Apple’s most passionate customers too. Watch Apple getting criticised for its aggressive nature again:

Apple is a litigious company, most famously for its multi-billion dollar patent crusade against Samsung. The Cupertino company has a more quixotic legal battle going on against its competitors, however, that has also become a bit of a war against the English language. Since last year, Apple lawyers have been arguing that “App Store” is a trademarked phrase, and it has the right to stop others from using similar phrases. That includes Amazon, which was sued by Apple in March 2011, shortly after it opened the Amazon Appstore for Android.

Now, some of those issues are finally coming to a head in public. At a hearing today in an Oakland federal court, it became clear that while Apple may have a lot of fury and passion behind this lawsuit, it has run into trouble in the form of a very skeptical judge. US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton showed great doubt that Apple will be able to prove that consumers were confused or deceived by Amazon’s use of the word “Appstore.” At this point, it’s somewhat remarkable that the company hasn’t dropped this suit, since Hamilton indicated a year ago that she was unimpressed by Apple’s arguments and denied a preliminary injunction.

Good.

Apple‘s arrogant marketing (including the “R and D” nonsense) is not impressing those who see innovators fleeing or getting fired. To quote this one report, “[w]hen Apple forced its mobile software leader Scott Forstall out of the company, it pushed out the most prolific inventor at the company, as measured by recent patent filings.

“Forstall’s name is on 166 pending patent applications. That’s more than anyone at the company, according to data from investment bank MDB Capital.”

Those patents have been used against companies like Samsung, usually in vain. Apple is getting told off by judges who accuse the company of breach of order. To quote: “Apple tried to argue that it would take 14 days to post an updated notice on its website, but the request was shot down. In fact, Judge Jacob made it clear that Apple’s actions are beginning to make him testy.”

Mr. Pogson says that “Apple Needs to Learn Humility” and in a post by Mike Masnick we learn about the background:

Last week we noted that Apple had put up a rather petulant non-apology apology in response to the UK court order requiring it to advertise to the world that Samsung didn’t copy Apple in making its devices. Many people wondered how the court would react to Apple’s attempt… and the answer is that the court is not pleased (and is further displeased by Apple’s claim that it needs two weeks to come up with something better)…

Pamela Jones says that Apple must go further than before:

There are consequences now that are worse than before. Apple tried to argue that they followed the letter of the law in the original notice, as does Patently Apple. But there is something called the spirit of the law too, and if you follow one and thumb your nose at the other, things can go wrong, because people notice. Judges are not stupid. Not that I believe what Apple did obeyed the letter of the law either. Nor did the judge in the UK.

It’s never all right to show disrespect to a court of law, and lawyers above all others should take the lead in demonstrating that respect. The rule of law actually depends on it, which is another way of saying that civilization itself depends on it. Otherwise, it’s back to pistols at dawn, or worse.

We wrote about the fake apology several times before [1, 2, 3]. Here is the best report we found in the sense that it’s not shy to slam Apple:

Apple Has To Readmit That Samsung Did Not Copy iPad Design: Reprimanded By Court

[...]

Judge Jacob said, “I’m at a loss that a company such as Apple would do this. That is a plain breach of the order.”

Apple’s arrogance doesn’t end here. The company requested 14 days to make the changes. Wow. Why would a company need 14 days to make changes to it’s own site? Typical Apple.

Judge Jacob did not buy this and rejected the request stating, “I just can’t believe the instructions you’ve been given. This is Apple. They cannot put something on their website?”

Here is the Apple-friendly BBC:

Apple has 48 hours to re-write a statement on its website relating to its design rights dispute with Samsung, UK judges have ruled.

[...]

Lord Justice Longmore told Mr Beloff: “We are just amazed that you cannot put the right notice up at the same time as you take the other one down.”

Sir Robin Jacob added: “I would like to see the head of Apple [Tim Cook] make an affidavit about why that is such a technical difficulty for the Apple company.”

Now, that would be entertaining. Apple got itself deeper in the PR blunder. Its arrogance sure works against its intentions and brings no benefit.

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2 Comments

  1. mcinsand said,

    November 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Gravatar

    I will agree that the perception of Apple’s nastiness has increased in recent years, but Apple really hasn’t changed its behavior one iota. The issue is that, through their aggressive R&D (for Apple, this is merely Rebranding and Dechoicing), they now have a market share that reaches beyond just the cultmembers. Those in the cult might smile and beg for more, but the average Joe (or Josephine) is not as fond of the freedom-hating abuse.

    As far as I’m concerned, the judge rewarded Apple. The new notice meets the spirit of the original directive, in my view, although there is still debate as to whether Apple still colored within the lines. However, this new notice is still going up well after the original deadline. Apple gamed to see if it could flout the deadline, and it effectively did. There are no significant sanctions, and they delayed the timing for actually following orders.

  2. Michael said,

    November 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Gravatar

    You deny it is emotional to call Apple “nasty”, but it is emotional to focus so much on them and Microsoft and ignore the wrongs of Google who did as MS is so often accused and pressured a partner to not use a competing OS and Samsung who has has been:
    * convicted of willfully copying others and fined over 1 billion dollars
    * fined the second largest US anti-trust fine for price fixing DRAM chips
    * found guilty in the EU for the same price fixing scheme
    * was involved in a price fixing scheme on LCD screens

    All of these entities are large corporations. None of them are without blame. So where are your articles about Samsung and their bad behavior? You are extremely biased and base your focus on your emotions… so to say your name calling of Apple is not “emotional” is clearly incorrect, even if you do not recognize your own shortcomings.

    With that said, Apple was absolutely wrong to lie in their remarks. They claimed that courts had found Samsung guilty of infringing on the iPad in ways that Samsung was *not* found guilty of. Apple was absolutely wrong and they should be punished by the courts for this. There is no excuse for their behavior in doing as they did. It is a black eye on Apple – no doubt.

    But, even with my saying that, folks will claim I am some sort of “iCultist”, as if Apple has the same type cult-following as Stallman’s irrational and double-talk filled “Free” movement (hint: it is not really possible to “follow” a company the way one follows a philosophy… which does not mean there are not people who are over the top whackos in their support of Apple and their products).

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