Apple Avoids Showing Samsung Full Cell Carrier Contracts

Apple managed to avoid having to show its full contracts with Australian cell companies to Samsung on Friday, but did still have to reveal certain parts of the documents. Samsung had requested to see the contracts as part of its legal fight with Apple over claims that the iPhone maker is infringing on its mobile-related patents.

Annabelle Bennett, the Judge overseeing the case in Australia, agreed that Apple only needed to show only relevant parts of its partner contracts with Vodafone, Optus and Telstra, and that Apple’s assurance that the specific clauses Samsung was hoping to find in the documents weren’t there is enough.

Apple v SamsungApple gives Samsung limited contract info

According to ZDNet Australia, the Judge told Samsung that if it wants more information, it would have to get testimony from the cell service providers and their legal teams on how the contracts were interpreted when they were first signed. Samsung’s lawyers decided not to pursue the matter any further.

Samsung had asked to see the contracts to determine whether or not Apple forces its carrier partners to subsidize iPhone sales. Apple’s legal team called the request a “fishing expedition,” and said it would “resist any attempts by our friends to push us into a corner [on subsidies].”

Apple and Samsung have been locked in a legal battle over patent infringement claims for several months. Both companies have alleged that the other’s mobile devices use patented technologies without proper licensing, and have filed lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and other countries.

A German court upheld an injunction blocking the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country, and the company filed an appeal in hopes of overturning that ruling. Apple was also awarded a temporary injunction through a Dutch court blocking the sale of some Galaxy devices in the European Union, along with current temporary injunction blocking the sale of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia.

Judge Bennett also asked both sides to streamline the documents they’re submitting to the court if they want her to reach a decision in a timely manner.

“There’s been seven boxes so far, and that’s just not physically possible [to get through quickly],” she said. “Both parties want a decision I assume sometime soon; that’s not possible.”