Apple 2.0

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Apple v. Samsung: Who's been editing the judge's Wikipedia entry?

December 23, 2012: 7:34 AM ET

Someone with an axe to grind has been messing with Lucy Koh's page



FORTUNE -- At 8:07 p.m. Friday a Wikipedia user identified only by his or her IP address -- -- added the following paragraph to the Wikipedia entry for Judge Lucy H. Koh, who oversaw the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement trial last August:

It has been discussed extensively in the Technology Community whether or not Lucy Koh has been completely impartial in handling Apple vs. Samsung. She ordered several preliminary injunctions on Samsung products that were later overturned by other federal agencies or were found to have not infringed on Apples Patents. [15] In addition, her refusal to allow Samsung to submit case changing evidence raises red flags. [16][17] The investigation of the role of Jury Foreman Velvin Hogan in the verdict also leads to questions of Koh's impartiality. [18] Samsung is currently appealing the trial in the Federal Appeals Court and seeks a new trial.

Even the most casual observer of the trial should be able to spot the bias in that excerpt. One of the footnotes linked to a Forbes interview with Groklaw's Pamela Jones, who famously proclaimed the jury's verdict a "farce" and led a four-month Internet smear campaign against the foreman.

The identity of Wikipedia user is a mystery, although there is circumstantial evidence suggesting a link to Samsung or a Samsung sympathizer. He or she also edited tech specs in the entry for the Nexus 10 -- a joint Samsung-Google (GOOG) project -- and sprinkled disparagements in the entry for Apple's A6 processor.

But the world's largest crowd-sourced encyclopedia is nothing if not collaborative. By Sunday morning, the new paragraph had been tagged as "possible vandalism" by an Apple (AAPL) partisan and removed -- links and all -- from Koh's Wikipedia page.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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