In a decision that will really get Apple’s biggest supporters’ blood boiling, a judge who in a UK court case sided with Samsung on one of the pair’s many patent disputes has been given a job with the South Korean technology company’s legal team.
The judge in that case, The Rt. Hon. Professor Sir Robin Jacob, ruled that Samsung did not copy the design of the iPad to create their Galaxy Tab range of tablet computers, ordering Apple to publish formal apologies through their website and local newspapers in a bid to restore the reputation of Samsung that they damaged with the rumours.
Jacob’s presence on Samsung’s legal team, around 4 months after he made the court ruling in their favour, was revealed when the company handed in a document in America that listed him as one of their employees, according to Foss Patents.
He had retired from the English judiciary in 2011, but has been able to preside over a limited number of High Court/Court of Appeal cases such as the Apple-Samsung incident due to the Senior Courts Act 1981.
Jacobs, however, has spent most of his time working in the ‘Sir Hugh Laddie Chair’ at the University College London (England) as a specialist in intellectual property law. It seems, though, that he has another role that was recently added to his schedule, even if it is unclear what that it involves.
The writer of the blog revealing the news, patent expert Florian Muller, noted of any worries that the parties may have on their partnership: “I’m sure that Samsung and Sir Robin Jacob wouldn’t be doing this if there was any risk of this conduct violating the law. Apparently an ex-judge who is invited to rule on a case involving a given party is not barred by existing UK rules (though this case here may spark a debate whether some reform is needed) from being hired by the same party in another litigation outside the UK.”
Samsung recently took a further fight to Apple in the technology market away from patent cases, though, when they revealed a mobile ‘Wallet’ app (a direct competitor to the Apple Passbook) at MWC 2013 in Barcelona (Spain). The app, set to be released later this month, will enable storage of event tickets, travel passes, and ‘digital coupons’ to assist with real-world transactions and storage of important physical items.
Away from their ‘cleaner’ battles, though, will Apple go quietly with the news of Jacob working with Samsung, however unrelated the issues in question might be?