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Last month, Apple filed a motion against Samsung in a California court for sharing confidential information. In the filing, the iPad-maker accused the Korean tech giant of disclosing details regarding its Nokia patent licensing agreement.

Samsung learned the terms of the deal during its court battle with Apple, and although the info was marked “attorney’s eyes only,” it used it to negotiate better licensing terms for itself—which Apple says is very illegal. And the judge agrees…

The Verge has the court order:

“A judge has determined that Samsung probably violated a court-ordered agreement to keep Apple documents secret, the latest snit in the epic patent battle between the companies that started in the summer of 2012.

Judge Paul Grewal asked to look over the documents himself last month. Now, “having finally crawled out from under the boxes,” he says it does look like the order was breached and “sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted.” 

Apple gave Samsung copies of confidential patent licensing agreements with a number of companies during the discovery process of their lawsuit. The information came with a protective order saying it could only be used in the patent case.

But Samsung ended up leaking the documents to nearly 100 employees and some 130 unauthorized lawyers, and has been caught (by Nokia) trying to use the information as leverage in negotiating patent licensing agreements with other firms.

Nokia has joined Apple in a call for sanctions, and the judge has asked the two companies to present recommendations for punishment at a hearing on December 9. Samsung, for its part, says that it “deeply regrets” the “inadvertent disclosure.”

  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    haha good sunday news!

  • Question

    Lol

  • Juan Herrera

    inadvertent? Yeah, sure.. lol

  • 4p0c4lyps3

    Greedy fck’n idiots.

  • NekoMichi

    “Deeply regret” in the same way they “deeply regret” the “unfortunate incident” where they somehow hired people to post unbased criticisms of their competitors without even trying their products?

  • Taf Khan

    The legal firm representing Shamsung should be banned from the courtroom in all patent cases, they can’t be trusted to follow judicial procedures.

    As for Shamsung, get them fined, heavy fined.

    • ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Why not go back to the medieval ages and chop off the head of Samsungs CEO and parade it around so that other companies won’t do the same thing?

      [Disclaimer: please note the sarcasm used in this comment. I do not promote nor endorse the beheading of shady technology companies CEOs]

      • Eric Mason

        I do!

      • Taf Khan

        Good idea

  • matt

    First they steal ideas and patents from apple and copy there phones, then have people troll forums to trash talk competitors, then lie about specs on phones and now use priveliged info to save a buck cause they suck at negotiating. I work in the cell industry and can’t stand samsung phones. There all gimmicky “wow I can waive at it to answer it” dnt care and would never use it, also there phones have crappy reception.

  • iOops

    I hope they throw the book at Samsung for this. I use, and love both Apple and Samsung devices, but I cannot agree with this sort of abuse of confidential information. Frigging idiots.

  • Maze

    Man, I’m so sick of reading articles like this. These companies are like children. Competition is good, but these guys are getting carried away.

  • So, they found some irrational stuff in the license agreement and exposed it to other Samsung employees? I’m not sure what’s ‘illegal’ about that; sounds more like Apple paid the politicians (again) to rule this stuff as illegal (like they did in the case of vetoing a ban)…

    I gain access to the information (as CEO), and to make a better decision of how to proceed in this case and future cases, I call some employees to share their thoughts…what’s wrong with that? It’s an agreement between your [b]company[/b] and my [b]company[/b].

    • Eddy Castro

      I’m pretty sure the illegal part was “trying to use the information as leverage in negotiating patent licensing agreements with other firms.”

      • Yeah, which is what I referred to as “to make a better decision of how to proceed in this case and future cases“. I don’t just forget about threats after dealing with them; I keep note of the strategy I used to deal with them in case of future threats.

      • Eddy Castro

        You wouldn’t have known this information with out the courts allowing you to have it in the first place, the court issued the information for the “attorney’s eyes only” They technically did abuse the power. This sort of reminds me of insider trading. Meh.

      • Oh I see, so, it’s legal to have my lawyer be informed of useful stuff regarding to my case, yet keep it secret from me? What exactly am I paying lawyers for if they’re going to be keeping such useful details secret from me? This “legality” system just makes lawyers rich with little effort…

  • here we go again apple and samsung in court!
    they look like Tom & jerry’s cartoons

    • appleyay

      yeah but samsung sucks