Freshfields client Apple ordered to pay Samsung’s UK legal fees

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has ruled that Apple must pay Samsung’s legal fees on an indemnity basis after a ruling by lead judge Sir Robin Jacob found that Apple’s attempts to publicly apologise to Samsung were ‘misleading’ and ‘lackadaisical’.

Apple was forced to post the apology on its UK website after a High Court ruling in July found that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets did not look “cool” enough to be mistaken for Apple’s iPad (10 July 2012).

According to the judgment the initial notice posted by Apple was “calculated to produce huge confusion” among readers, therefore warranting the payment of Samsung’s legal fees on an “indemnity basis”.

“The false innuendo is that the UK court came to a different conclusion about copying, which is not true for the UK court did not form any view about copying,” stated Sir Robin, who led a panel of three judges sitting at the CoA. “There is a further false innuendo that the UK court’s decision is at odds with decisions in other countries whereas that is simply not true.”

The ruling also stated that costs against Apple are higher than would normally be the case as a mark of the court’s disapproval. “As to the costs 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.”

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Justin Watts brought in heavyweights Michael Beloff QC of Blackstone Chambers and Richard Hacon of 11 South Square to lead the appeal for Apple, which was unsuccessful in appealing the publicity order last month (18 October 2012).

Samsung also brought in a silk to respond to the appeal, with 11 South Square’s Henry Carr QC instructed by Simmons & Simmons partner David Stone and associate Gavin Lawson.

The judgment comes days after research firm Strategy Analytics found that Samsung Galaxy SIII stole the title of world’s most popular smartphone from Apple’s iPhone 4S in the third quarter of 2012.

The legal line up:

For Apple: Michael Beloff QC of Blackstone Chambers and Richard Hacon of 11 South Square, instructed by Freshfields partner Justin Watts.

For Samsung: 11 South Square’s Henry Carr QC leading 11 South Square’s Anna Edwards-Stuart, instructed by Simmons & Simmons partner David Stone and associate Gavin Lawson.