Apple seeks Samsung penalty for leaking secret Nokia patent terms


A court earlier this week denied motions by Samsung to delay a probe into whether it improperly disclosed a confidential 2011 licensing agreement between Apple and Nokia.

Although Samsung lawyers argued the original judge made mistakes in ruling the South Korean firm committed a breach of privacy, Judge Lucy Koh found the decision “eminently reasonable”.

Earlier this month, Apple filed a legal motion claiming Samsung illegally disclosed details of the patent licensing agreement in order to improve negotiations. The iPhone maker alleges the information revealed was part of documents turned over as part of the Apple v. Samsung case…

Over the past three months, Samsung has not provided much information, inaction which Judge Koh called “inexcusable.”

Last week, Judge Paul S. Greenwald ruled that there “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”.

According to FOSS Patents:

Samsung now faces an even bigger problem than before because Judge Koh’s order makes clear that there has been some wrongdoing.

The decision marks only the latest chapter in the long-running legal battle between Apple and Samsung. In 2012, a California jury awarded Apple $1 billion for Samsung infringing upon several patents. Then in March, the jury award was cut in half and a new trial set for November.

The case appears to have taken a turn in Apple’s favor.

The South Korean company Thursday told the European Commission it will not file any lawsuits against companies using standards-essential patented technology for five years. The concession comes with a catch: the companies need to follow what the Commission described (via the BBC) as a “particular licensing framework”.

The agreement comes as Samsung faces up to $18 million in fines from the European Union over its use of standards-essential patents – which must be licensed under fair terms – as a legal cudgel against Apple.

As you know, Samsung is also battling a U.S. import ban against some of its products after the Obama administration stayed the ban, deciding effects would be limited.

In another potential setback for Samsung and other Android backers, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has reconfirmed the iPhone multitouch patent credited to Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs.