UPDATE: Samsung has issued a statement to Macworld claiming that it has not employed the judge who last year ruled in their favour in the UK legal battle with Apple. Samsung told Macworld: "Sir Robin Jacob is not a legal representative of Samsung Electronics. A highly reputed intellectual property expert and academic, Sir Robin has been contracted as an expert by a law firm that represents Samsung Electronics in its case against Ericsson." More information here.
Remember that judge in the UK that ruled that Samsung hadn't copied Apple because Samsung's devices weren't as cool as Apple's? It seems he is Samsung's new best friend.
Florian Mueller over at Foss Patents has discovered that the judge in the case, the Rt. Hon. Professor Sir Robin Jacob, has now been hired as an expert by Samsung in another dispute (namely the ITC investigation of Ericsson's complaint). Jacob retired from the Court of Appeal in March 2011 and became a professor. Mueller explains that it is possible to ask ex-judges to sit on the bench, and that is why Jacob was able to sit on the Apple v Samsung case in the UK.
Mueller suggests that while being hired by the same party in another litigation outside the UK less than four months after a case seems to bot violate any laws, it may "spark a debate whether some reform is needed".
Specifically, Mueller questions whether Jacob may already have been working with Samsung four months ago. He writes: "I also have no doubt that at the time of the ruling Sir Robin Jacob was not being paid, or improperly promised to be paid, by Samsung."
"This just doesn't feel right," writes Mueller.
Judge Jacob, not only ruled that Samsung hadn't copied Apple, he accused Apple of filing frivolous lawsuits, and forced Apple to take out ads in national papers, and made them put a notice on their website admitting that they had made a mistake in suggesting that Samsung had copied them.
This was despite other judges around the world blocking sales of Samsung products, and in the US a jury found Samsung guilty and a judge upheld that finding.
When Apple posed its notice, highlighting the fact that Samsung had been found guilty elsewhere, the judge deemed Apple's attempts "false and misleading" and told it to rewrite it's notice.
Mueller suggests that he thought that the judge was being a bit harsh on Apple, who he says were "just trying to defend its intellectual property rights in court and merely had refused to withdraw a German lawsuit after a UK ruling by a lower court."