the right to seal its financial records. Judge Koh has made it clear that if Apple is going to use its financial performance to win huge verdicts, it cannot do so and then keep those numbers a secret. The judge wants Apple to reveal the profitability of the Apple iPhone. Around now, you might ask yourself that since Apple is a public company, shouldn't these figures be available to the public? The SEC does not require that companies like Apple with a multitude of products, break out the profitability of each one. It would be like McDonalds issuing a P/L for each variation of burger it sells.
The figures will not be made public immediately as Judge Koh has decided to keep the documents sealed until she gets a ruling on her order from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the higher court which handles all patent cases. A similar order that the judge made on August 9th to unseal certain documents has already been sent to the Appellate Court for their review.
What the judge is saying is that while Apple can keep the profit/loss figures for the Apple iPhone a secret for competitive reasons, it cannot do so while using the same financial performance as a tool to win billion dollar verdicts.
source: ArsTechnica via BGR