Judge could sanction Samsung for leaking confidential Apple information

Judge could sanction Samsung for leaking confidential Apple information
Judge Paul Grewal, no stranger to this site, is considering placing sanctions on Samsung and its attorneys for leaking confidential Apple information. The judge has issued an order to Samsung to show cause why sanctions should not be issued in this situation. In the order, Grewal writes "sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted." As part of the discovery process during its lawsuit against Samsung, Apple turned over confidential patent licensing agreements with Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips.This information was to be seen only by Samsung's legal team.

According to Apple, Samsung used this information to gain a "competitive advantage in the market". 90 Samsung employees and 130 unauthorized attorneys apparently got their hands on the documents because of leaks. Nokia joined Apple's motion for sanctions. Nokia's chief intellectual property officer, Paul Melin, says Samsung executive Dr. Seungho Ahn used the leaked information as leverage to work out better terms for Samsung in negotiations with Nokia. During the negotiations, Dr. Ahn allegedly told Melin, "All information leaks."

A hearing has been scheduled for December 9th and Judge Grewal has asked both Apple and Nokia for recommendations on how to punish Samsung. The latter was told to prepare a defense.

If you like to pretend that you're an attorney, going so far as to wear a suit and tie and legal briefs, you can click on the sourcelink to view the court's order.

source: SBNation via TheVerge via Phandroid

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60 Comments

1. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Sanction their face off I'd say, there is no reason for this to pass unpunished. There is a standard based on trust here that the entire legal system would fail to function without. There is no excuse for this kind of behavior and therefore, this should have serious repercussions.

2. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Only Samsung employees and lawyers have seen it, so Apple should stop itching with a giant B.

6. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

"Only samsung employees and lawyers have seen it" -thats why it is confidential, and as the article says that information was to be seen ONLY by Samsung's legal team.

11. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Had it leaked? No. Cause only Samsung employees and lawyers have seen it, hence no unwanted party (competition, media) got their hands on it, it's really that simple. Apple won't get much dough off of Sammy this time, mark my words.

16. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

The time that samsung shows the documents to those unauthorized employees and attorney's, YES it already leaked.why? Because the agreement is only between apple's legal team and samsung's legal team. The fact that those employees and those other attorneys are not part of samsung's legal team then samsung already break the rules...well lets just wait ang see.

19. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

If you know the meaning of the word "confidential" maybe you understand my point here....

22. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

It's simple logic really. Despite Sammy employes got information when they should've have, which is why we have a lawsuit, said information didn't leak beyond Samsung which was entitled to (limited) access, hence my visionary prediction to expect no substantial fine. Point of the lawsuit: headlines, "Apple sues Samsung for blah blah", "Samsung fined for blah blah". No actual damage was done, just a little flexing of muscle.

30. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The burden will be on Sammy to show that no harm to Apple occurred from the 'leak'. If they can show that there was no harm sustained by Apple, AND that they have put in place protections to guarantee that a leak will not occur in the future, they probably will get away with minor sanctions at most. Otherwise, it could cost them. One thing that pisses judges off is litigants ignoring a judicial order.

46. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

It already harmed Nokia. By the way, "the no harm, no foul" rule does not apply in this situation. This is about the sanctity of the courts. The Samsung attorneys clearly f*cked up or were incompetent or both. All Samsung does is to p*ss on the American way.

51. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

How did the leaking actually hurt Nokia? Nokia wasn't hurt too bad since they signed a license. You can't make unsubstantiated claims in court. No harm no foul is a well-established principle in litigation. Sammy has the burden of proof to show no harm, but if it can make the showing, there is ample precedent for the no foul part.

47. amats69

Posts: 1527; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Yeah it is a simple logic yet you didnt get it...sorry.

25. stealthd unregistered

Samsung was the "unwanted party" here. It was "leaked" to them by their lawyers. When a document says "For Attorneys Only", it's not just a suggestion.

60. pvaraich

Posts: 15; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

When it goes to the employees, that means it was leaked as that gives Samsung a ground to copy, which has been their path for success. Everytime a company is about to launch a new product, it leaks because the employees pass on that information to outsider for money.

31. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

Yes, please sanction the hell out of Samsung so that the President can turn around and veto. My bad, he's the iPresident and thence sanctions will stick.

48. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

I don't think this type of info should be confidential

3. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Nail them.

39. androiphone20

Posts: 1654; Member since: Jul 10, 2013

BURN THEM, BURN THEM WITH FIRE

4. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

:facepalm: @ Samsung.

5. Mozarrt

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

If the rules have been breached then Samsung should be punished accordingly.

7. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I do agreed that if Samsung break the US law they should be punished. But in the US, Apple can break the law and get presidential pardon. Hypocrisy at its finest. To me reason are just excuse outcome is all that matters.

8. Mozarrt

Posts: 301; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Apple's activities (how bad they may be, I have no idea) have nothing to do with crimes committed by Samsung. And it's not only Apple, but also other companies including Nokia that think Samsung has committed a punishable offence.

17. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Oh, so their competition says that big bad Samsung did something wrong(how would they know), therefore they must be right? What kind of logical sense does that make.

20. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Doesn't matter who gets off where, no one deserves special treatment. Apple's products should have also been banned and they should not have been given special treatment. But this isn't a one for one deal, the injustice has to be stopped where ever possible.

24. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I agree. But in this situation it just sounds like sour grapes.

26. stealthd unregistered

You've got your facts pretty heavily mixed up. Apple didn't "break the US law". The ITC issued an import ban based on FRAND patents, which was pretty much universally frowned upon. So the head of the FTC vetoed the ruling (not Obama, and not a pardon).

27. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

So because it is FRAND (and obviously essential) a the company shouldn't be compensated for it? Huh?

53. stealthd unregistered

Did I say that? No, I didn't. ITC isn't about compensation, if they want to get compensated for their patents then they should negotiate or head to court.

28. tedkord

Posts: 17093; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The ITC found that Apple was engaging in bad faith negotiating, they were never intending to pay for use of those FRAND patents. That's why they took the unusual step of ordering a ban. The veto did not dispute these facts.

55. stealthd unregistered

That's what a lawsuit is for. It's been pretty much universally agreed in multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries that standards essential patents should not be used to get a ban. That doesn't mean Apple is off the hook, that means Samsung has to get damages through court.

35. willard12 unregistered

Did Apple break the law by conspiring to fix ebook prices?

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