Apple Ordered to Pay All of Samsung's Court Costs in UK Tablet Design Dispute
Following a series of events in a UK court case between Apple and Samsung that resulted in Apple having to publish a revised notice acknowledging that Samsung's Galaxy Tab devices had not infringed upon the registered design related to the iPad, the court has now ruled that Apple must pay all of Samsung's legal fees. The order was made after the court decided that Apple's behavior in the matter had been inappropriate and showed a "lack of integrity".
As to the costs (lawyers' fees) to be awarded against Apple, we concluded that they should be on an indemnity basis. Such a basis (which is higher than the normal, "standard" basis) can be awarded as a mark of the court's disapproval of a party's conduct, particularly in relation to its respect for an order of the court. Apple's conduct warranted such an order.
The order also highlights the court's issues with Apple's original statement, which contained improperly inserted text within the notice that was required by the court. The court's order specifically permitted Apple to comment on or publish its own information relating to the case, but the company was judged to have purposely circumvented the intent of the order by inserting information judged to be false within the ordered text.
I do not think the order as made precluded any addition to the required notice if that addition had been true and did not undermine the effect of the required notice. But I do consider that adding false and misleading material was illegitimate. For by adding such material the context of the required notice is altered so that it will be understood differently. [...]
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.
Beyond the inclusion of false and misleading text within the required notice, the court also took exception to Apple's claim that it would take 14 days to modify the notice posted on its website. The court ultimately gave Apple 48 hours to make the changes, and the company complied with that demand.