After Apple filed a new motion for sanctions against Samsung for unlawfully obtaining sensitive information about its 2011 patent license agreement with Nokia, Judge Lucy Koh has denied three Samsung motions intended to slow the investigation, reports FOSS Patents.
Samsung had asked Judge Koh to overrule the findings of Judge Paul S. Grewal in the original filing by Apple because of alleged errors, but Samsung's request was denied by Judge Koh, who proceeded to call Samsung's lack of information during the three-month time period since the alleged violation "inexcusable".
Judge Grewal had said in his order last week that "[t]here is reason to believe the rule [that confidential information made available only to outside counsel won't be disclosed to the party itself] has been breached in the present case", and at the related hearing he suggested to Samsung's counsel again and again and again that the occurrence of violations could and should be admitted because the facts are so very clear. Samsung then brought a set of motions asking Judge Koh to overrule Judge Grewal because some of his findings were allegedly erroneous and contrary to law. Judge Koh, however, has concluded that Judge Grewal's related decision was "eminently reasonable".
Samsung and the law firm representing it in this case now face an even bigger problem than before because Judge Koh's order makes clear that there has been some wrongdoing:
Footnote 1 (page 9):
"Samsung's exhibits to its motions for relief show that Quinn Emanuel did in fact improperly disclose information about the other Apple licenses to Samsung's employees."
Judge Koh also mentioned in the court order that the case at hand involves multiple parties that have upcoming trials within her court, and that the issue of Samsung's unlawful actions must be solved quickly in order to allow the other trials to proceed normally. The hearing for this case will reportedly be held next Tuesday, October 22, barring an inability to hold trial due to the ongoing shutdown of the U.S. government.
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 this November. Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller and former senior vice president of iOS software Scott Forstall may also take the stand in the retrial.
Top Rated Comments
As I understand it, during the lawsuit, Samsung requested access to details of some of Apple's other licensing deals, including with Nokia. Apple countered that Samsung had no business knowing their licensing deals and the judge took a middle ground, saying that the deal could be reviewed, but by a third party who was to keep the details confidential from Samsung proper.
That didn't happen. The third party put the information on Samsung's internal servers, and a Samsung exec flat-out told Nokia he knew the contents of the agreement when negotiating terms with them.
This is more interesting than the original case!
Ignoring the third party issue, who could probably be disbarred, the fact Samsung didn't immediately inform the judge, but in fact used the information to strike deals themselves could really land them in hot water I'd have thought. Plenty of opportunity to do the right thing, but of course, they didn't.
Hopefully, the weight of their crimes has become so heavy they will sink.
Everyone is saying that the Samsung executives are sleazy for reading the confidential papers they were legally obligated not to read. And the lawyers were sleazy in allowing this to happen.