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Apple to pay Samsung's UK legal fees

The England and Wales Court of Appeal has ordered Apple to pay all of Samsung's legal fees over the dispute as to whether or not Samsung violated Apple's registered design for a tablet computer.

The Court’s appeal comes after Apple brazenly dismissed a previous court order requiring the company to make public notices that Samsung did not infringe designs. The company instead used the notice to claim other courts had ruled Samsung "copied" the iPad.

Apple has sued Samsung in the US and around the world over allegations of copying designs and technology for the iPhone and iPad used to make the competitor product, Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

In the UK, Samsung has filed a lawsuit for an affirmative declaration that the Galaxy tablets are not infringements on a registered EU community design for a tablet, the design Apple claim formed the basis of the iPad released in 2010.

A UK High Court judge ruled that Samsung are not in violation of design patents and the Court of Appeal later affirmed that decision. Apple has been ordered to post a notice on its website and in several UK publications acknowledging that the court has found that Samsung did not infringe Apple's design right. The order's intent is to counteract publicity over the court battle in which Apple repeatedly called Samsung a "copy cat". 

Apple have added additional lines to the court-ordered notice which suggested that other courts found Samsung in violation of patents, including a US court ruling that awarded Apple $1bn in damages.

The Court of Appeal has called the move a "plain breach of the order" and ordered Apple to post a revised statement annexing the acknowledgment of other court rulings or claims of "copying" the iPad.

Sir Robin Jacob’s final order noted: "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 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. Apple's additions to the ordered notice clearly muddied the water and the message obviously intended to be conveyed by it."

In addition to further stipulations about how the notice must appear online and in print, the court further ruled that Apple must pay Samsung's legal fees on an "indemnity basis". 

Apple's conduct warranted such an order. Sir Jacob wrote: "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."

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