Samsung escapes sanctions from leaking confidential Apple-Nokia infomation

Samsung escapes sanctions from leaking confidential Apple-Nokia infomation
You might recall that Apple had asked a U.S. District Court to sanction Samsung and some of its employees, and that Nokia had requested the same for Samsung's outside law firm. The issue was the leaking of confidential information about Apple and Nokia's patent licensing agreement. Meant only to be seen by specific lawyers working on the first Samsung-Apple patent trial, and marked "Highly Confidential," Samsung allegedly passed the information around to 90 employees and 130 unauthorized attorneys. Samsung also was alleged to have used the information in its own bargaining sessions with Nokia.

Apple asked the court to bar Samsung's chief licensing executive, Dr. Seungho Ahn, and those that work with him from dealing with mobile patents for two years. When confronted by Nokia's chief intellectual property officer Paul Melin about using the confidential information to get an edge in negotiating terms, Dr. Ahn supposedly said, "All information leaks."

Luckily for Samsung, while the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California did find in Apple's favor, it decided to place the blame on Samsung's law firm, Quinn Emmanuel. No stranger to our readers, Judge Paul S.Grewal made the ruling, stating that the leaking of the information was merely an error in redacting sensitive material. Grewal said that such mistakes happen every day and added that Samsung's role in this was circumstantial.

The confidential file had contained non-redacted stipulations between Apple and Nokia. Quinn Emmanuel was supposed to have sent the file to Sammy's outside legal team, but instead it was sent to high ranking Samsung officials in charge of the Korean firm's intellectual property. The judge ordered all copies of the file to be removed from Samsung's possession within two weeks. And in future cases involving Samsung and Apple in the state of California, redacted versions of all documents will now be sent to each side before the original papers are sent to outside law firms.

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The judge ordered that Quinn Emmanuel reimburse Apple, Nokia and their outside counsel for all fees associated with litigating this motion. Grewal said that this cost, despite his finding of wrongdoing on the part of the law firm, is a sufficient penalty to make Apple and Nokia whole, and to discourage the firm from doing this again in the future.

Apple and Samsung will meet in front of Judge Lucy Koh today to discuss Samsung's request for an extension to answer Apple's post-appeal request for a permanent injunction. Apple and Samsung have been meeting in an attempt to reach an agreement over their patent issues and it seems that Samsung wants more time to see where these talks lead. The next patent trial takes place in March and includes more recent Samsung devices.

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source: via FOSSPatents

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