Remember that judge who made Apple rewrite its too-sassy public apology to Samsung? Well, Samsung has turned around and hired him as an expert in its patent battle with Ericsson, which seems totally unethical, but is actually quite legal. Inside a patent filing dump by Samsung on Wednesday, patent-watcher Florian Mueller spotted Judge Robin Jacob's name among a list of nine "experts" Samsung has hired on its behalf in the investigation of Ericcson's U.S. injunction against a bunch of Samsung phones:
This feels wrong, especially since back when Apple had first gone public with its non-apology, Jacob had said it showed a "lack of integrity." But first of all, Jacob wasn't an active U.K. judge at the time — he had retired from his position in March 2011. Since then, however, he has served on the bench: Ex-judges can do that in the Britain because of Section 9 of the Senior Courts Act 1981, which states former justices can guest-judge on certain courts. So, it's not like Samsung hired him straight off the active bench, nor was Samsung paying him back then — but he was still sort of active. The Ericcson suit began in late November and Jacob made his anti-Apple remarks earlier that month.
Also, Jacob really is an expert in patent law, as all the glowing remarks during his application for retirement indicate: "This is an application by Lord Justice Jacob for permission to retire. (Laughter) If there was any ground for dismissing the application, I would unhesitatingly do so," began the Master of the Rolls. Another justice credited "IP courts that are respected across Europe and internationally" to Jacob. So, it seems like a good choice for Samsung going forward, even if it makes us feel icky inside.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.