Samsung Accuses Apple of Leaking Nokia Licensing Documents

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Samsung is accusing Apple of leaking Nokia licensing agreement documents through a publicly accessible docket related to their ongoing mobile device patent infringement battle. If that sounds familiar, it's probably because Apple accused Samsung of leaking the very same documents last year.

Samsung says Apple leaked confidential licensing documents, tooSamsung says Apple leaked confidential licensing documents, too

The Court was notified of the leak at the end of February, according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents. "Apple actually filed the terms of its Nokia license (as well as the terms of a license agreement with NEC) on a publicly-accessible court docket last October, where it remained for about four months until it was finally removed," he said.

Samsung and its legal firm Quinn Emanuel were accused of leaking Apple and Nokia licensing agreement documents, and then using the information to gain the upper hand in its own licensing negotiations with Nokia. The documents were intended for special witnesses who needed the information to form their testimonies, and not for open viewing by anyone else.

In the end, the Court ruled that Quinn Emanuel was at fault for the leak and that there wasn't enough evidence to show that Samsung then used the information inappropriately.
 
Apple and Nokia pushed for strong sanctions against Samsung, but the Court didn't thing there was proof that actual harm had been done. Instead, the focus was on Quinn Emanuel's attorneys and their negligent release of the files.

This new revelation could play out in Samsung's favor because it's an opportunity to reduce the money Quinn Emanuel must pay as part of its punishment for releasing the licensing agreements. In its filing, Samsung said,

Apple's and Nokia's scorched-earth approach to Samsung's inadvertent disclosure, and the amount of the concomitant fees Apple and Nokia incurred in pursuing those efforts, must be juxtaposed against the fact that Apple had simultaneously posted (and Nokia neglected to notice) this information on the Internet for all the world to see. The fee award should be reduced accordingly.

The documenent also said Apple publicly filed confidential business information about Samsung and Google.

Considering Apple inadvertently released the same documents, it's likely the court will reduce the Quinn Emanuel fine and could demand more information from the iPhone and iPad maker about how the agreements ended up in a public filing. Samsung could also ask the Court to impose sanctions against Apple.

A hearing on the matter is set for April 8. Apple has not commented on Samsung's filing.

Comments

Terrin

What Apple and Samsung did are two different things. Samsung put the documents on its internal servers whereby Samsung executives used the documents to gain favorable licensing terms from Nokia. Nokia brought the matter to the Court and Apple’s attention. To make matters worst, Samsung’s lawyers refused to cooperate with the Court in investigating the matter.

Apple uploaded the documents to the Court’s public filing system, discovered the error, contacted the court, and corrected it.

So, Apple’s lawyers clearly made a mistake, but the circumstances are different.

Terrin

PS:

Not sure how the revelation helps Samsung, as it is Samsun’g lawyers, not Samsung who was ordered to pay the fine. Samsung was cleared of any wrong doing in the matter. The same would likely be true here. Apple’s lawyers made the mistake, not Apple.

Terrin

PPS:

It wasn’t for all the world to see. To see the information, you had to have a PACER account, and pay a fee to download the information.

ibuck

Terrin, what you’ve posted here, if accurate, has a different impact, at least to my thinking, than Jeff’s article. Thanks.

Unless Apple has a geek on its legal team, it raises an interesting point. Lawyers and IT guys would seem to have different worldviews and vocabularies. I wonder if communications are a bit unclear as a result.

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