Apple Seeks Sanctions Against Samsung for Unlawful Use of Apple-Nokia Patent License Terms

apple_samsung_logosApple has filed a new motion for sanctions against Samsung in a California court, accusing the Korean electronics manufacturer of unlawfully obtaining sensitive information about the terms and conditions of its 2011 patent license agreement with Nokia, reports FOSS Patents.

The motion states that Dr. Seungho Ahn, a Samsung executive, informed Nokia that the terms of the Apple-Nokia patent settlement were “known to him”, and used that information to negotiate other potential patent settlements in Samsung’s favor. According to the complaint, the Apple-Nokia license terms were turned over to Samsung's outside lawyers during the Apple v. Samsung case and were marked "Highly Confidential -- Attorneys' Eyes Only", but were improperly shared with Ahn and dozens of other Samsung employees.

Licensing executives from Samsung and Nokia held a meeting on June 4, 2013 to discuss a patent license deal between these parties. In that meeting, a Samsung exec, Dr. Seungho Ahn, "informed Nokia that the terms of the Apple-Nokia license were known to him" and according to a declaration from Nokia's Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Paul Melin, "stated that Apple had produced the Apple-Nokia license in its litigation with Samsung, and that Samsung's outside counsel had provided his team with the terms of the Apple-Nokia license". The Melin declaration furthermore says that "to prove to Nokia that he knew the confidential terms of the Apple-Nokia license, Dr. Ahn recited the terms of the license, and even went so far as to tell Nokia that 'all information leaks.'"

The motion itself details how files containing the sensitive information were transferred between Samsung’s outside counsel and Samsung executives, with the unredacted documents having been posted on an FTP server accessible to Samsung employees and then transmitted via email.

“Samsung’s outside counsel posted the report on an FTP site that was accessible by Samsung personnel. An email providing instructions to access the FTP site was addressed the regular client distribution list used by counsel to provide Samsung personnel updates regarding the case.

The information was then sent, over several different occasions, to over fifty Samsung employees, including high-ranking licensing executives. Specifically, on at least four occasions between March 24, 2012 and December 21, 2012, Samsung's outside counsel emailed a copy of some version of the report to Samsung employees, as well as various counsel representing Samsung in courts and jurisdictions outside the United States.

Since 2011, Samsung and Apple have been in a long, ongoing legal battle over patent and design issues, with the first U.S. trial awarding $1 billion to Apple in 2012. However, a judge voided nearly half of that amount in March, and a new trial between the two companies is set for November of this year.

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92 months ago

I read this site every day, but please no more patent news. I beg of you.


We work pretty hard to keep our coverage of patent lawsuits to only the important ones.

This one's a doozy.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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92 months ago

At the top of the page there are tabs for Front Page, Mac Blog, iOS Blog, etc. It would be great if they added a tab for Litigation Blog so those of us that don't want to read all the stupid legal machinations could just skip it.

Or you could just skip over the articles you don't like. You are not required to read everything. ;)
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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92 months ago

At the top of the page there are tabs for Front Page, Mac Blog, iOS Blog, etc. It would be great if they added a tab for Litigation Blog so those of us that don't want to read all the stupid legal machinations could just skip it.

They already give you that option.
Don't click on the thread.:)
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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92 months ago

Aren't there enough sanctions already?


Not until a punishment is imparted upon Samsung that actually hurts them. The reason why Samsung repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, manipulates and bribes, is because they still make money under such practices. If you fine them in such a way that actually shakes their ivory tower, maybe then there will be enough sanctions. Until that point, sanction the hell out of Samsung!

And by the way, this isn't just regarding phones. Samsung has employed these same practices in producing their TVs -- TVs I love -- but they're still wrong. Additionally, I'd just like to say that since I've learned of their practices, I do not buy their name brand offerings, though I know much of the electronic components I use contain their products.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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92 months ago
Yep, sounds like Samsung.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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92 months ago
I read this site every day, but please no more patent news. I beg of you.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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