Apple is currently suing Samsung in a German court over similarities between the iPad and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. In the intellectual property case, Apple asserts that Samsung stole its tablet's design and layout.
But it was discovered Monday that Apple's lawyers filed a misleading document with the Düsseldorf court, in which a photo of the Galaxy Tab was altered to appear more like the iPad. By accident, it said, Apple changed the aspect ratio of the image of the Galaxy, which was paired next to an image of the iPad, making the two devices more alike.
According to Computer World in the Netherlands, which broke the story, the European version of the Galaxy tab is much narrower and longer than the iPad, yet they are nearly identical in shape in the court filing. Apple's lawyers apparently cropped the photo and changed its aspect ratio from 1.46 to 1.36, widening the device by 8 percent. The new image is closer in size to iPad than it even is to real Galaxy Tab.
It also appears the Galaxy Tab was given a thicker border around its edges, making it further resemble the iPad in the side-by-side comparison.
"This is a blunder. That such a 'mistake' is made in a case about design rights can scarcely be a coincidence," Arnout Groen, a lawyer with the Dutch firm Klos Morel Vos & Schaap, told Dutch magazine Webwereld.
"The aspect ratio of the alleged Galaxy Tab is clearly distorted to match the iPad more closely. Inasmuch as this faux pas will have consequences for the case is of course up to the judge. But at least a reprimand by the German judge seems to be in order," he said.
Text below the image reads: "The overall appearance of the two products shown above is almost identical, because the Galaxy Tab 10.1 copies all distinctive elements of equipment of the iPad 2," a claim which is greatly undermined by a more accurate rendering of the Samsung product.
In the past, Apple has gotten in trouble for exaggerating the resolution of the iPhone screen in commercials and pictures. It also made a promotional video that showed the iPad using flash video, a feature it did not have at the time.