Samsung Legal Team gets $2M Fine for Leaking Apple Documents

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The legal firm of Quinn Emanuel was slapped with a US$2 million fine for leaking confidential licensing agreements between Apple and Nokia to Samsung. The documents were part of the ongoing mobile device patent infringement fight between Apple and Samsung, and were intended only for expert witnesses and not the Korean electronics maker's eyes.

Samsung, Quinn Emanuel hit with $2M document leak fineSamsung, Quinn Emanuel hit with $2M document leak fine

Quinn Emanuel came under fire for sharing the confidential documents with Samsung that were intended only for special witnesses. Samsung found itself in hot water for then allegedly using those documents to gain an unfair advantage in its own negotiations with Nokia, and for sharing the documents with more than 50 employees.

The documents were uploaded to Samsung's FTP servers on more than one occasion, and were also emailed directly to some employees. Samsung executive Seungho Ahn later bragged about the leaks during licensing talks with Nokia and brushed off concerns saying, "All information leaks."

Once word of the document leaks surfaced, the court considered imposing sanctions on Samsung and Quinn Emanuel, although that ultimately didn't happen despite Samsung's attempts to stall an investigation into the incident.

Quinn Emanuel and Samsung have now been ordered to pay Nokia $1,145,027.95 and Apple $893,825.77 to cover legal expenses for both companies related to the document leak proceedings.

Samsung and Quinn Emanuel have 30 days to write their checks. Neither company has commented on the ruling.

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Coughing up $2 million is more like digging for pocket change from Samsung's perspective. The electronics maker has a track record for staying ahead of the legal system while it makes products other companies say infringe on their products. That's not going to change now, and Quinn Emanuel won't have to take a financial hit because Samsung will no doubt write the checks for the full amount.



If 3 strikes laws were applied to Samsung, would they be spending life in prison? Corporate personhood seems to be different.

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