London - US tech giant Apple has until Saturday to re-write an “inaccurate” statement relating to its patent dispute with South Korean rival Samsung, British judges have ruled.
A British court forced Apple on October 18 to post a message on the company's website stating that Samsung's Galaxy tablet computers had not infringed the design of Apple's iPad.
But Samsung complained that the message did not comply with the court order because it included comments on other rulings in Germany and the United States which had favoured Apple.
On Wednesday, senior judges agreed and told Apple to take down the statement within 24 hours.
Apple's lawyer Michael Beloff said the notice would be removed, but to the judges' surprise he suggested the tech firm would need up to two weeks to post a replacement.
“We are just amazed that you cannot put the right notice up at the same time as you take the other one down,” judge Andrew Longmore told Beloff.
Judge Robin Jacob added: “I would like to see the head of Apple make an affidavit about why that is such a technical difficulty for the Apple company.”
They ruled that the replacement notice should be posted within 48 hours.
The two manufacturers are locked in a bitter legal war over patents, spanning some 10 countries.
Samsung was dealt a blow in late August when a US federal jury ruled that the Korean firm infringed some of Apple's design and software patents and fined it more than $1 billion. Samsung has appealed the ruling.
In Britain, judge Colin Birss ruled in July that consumers were unlikely to confuse the iPad with Samsung's tablet because it was less “cool” than the Apple gadget.
The ruling thwarted Apple in its bid to impose a sales ban on Samsung's products.
Apple was unsuccessful in appealing the ruling, and was ordered to publish a notice on its website and in the press stating that Samsung had not infringed its designs. - Sapa-AFP