Samsung not sanctioned over leakage of Apple documents
The judge said the information had not been misused in license negotiations
IDG News Service - A court in California has decided not to sanction Samsung Electronics for the leak of confidential Apple licensing information, stating that the information had not been misused in patent negotiations.
The court has, however, asked the external counsel to reimburse costs and fees incurred by Apple and Nokia on litigating the motion and related discovery.
Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled Wednesday that Samsung could not have benefited from the leaked information for its license negotiations with Nokia or Ericsson, pointing out that Samsung had argued that it already knew the terms of the agreement ahead of the leak.
The court said in November that it was considering sanctions against Samsung and its lawyers in view of allegations of the suspected breach of confidential information, including information on Apple's patent licensing agreements with Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp and Philips, which were marked for viewing by the attorneys alone.
Key terms of the four patent license agreements were contained in a draft expert report on damages that was forwarded to Samsung without redaction by its external counsel Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
The counsel posted the expert report on an FTP (file transfer protocol) site that was accessible by Samsung staff, and emailed instructions for accessing the site, which over 50 Samsung employees including licensing executives are said to have accessed.
Apple had provided the information to Quinn Emanuel during the discovery phase of a lawsuit in California in which Apple was awarded damages of $1.05 billion against Samsung, later whittled down to about $930 million.
Samsung explained that Ericsson told it the terms of its license with Apple in the course of their mediations. "Given that no representative from Ericsson or anyone else has come forward to refute that assertion, the court credits the testimony and accepts this explanation," Judge Grewal wrote in his order. He said he was also not persuaded, despite Samsung's "tenuous" explanations, that the South Korean company had used the confidential information in the expert report.
With regard to Quinn Emanuel, the court found that the reimbursement of costs, in addition to the public findings of wrongdoing was sufficient "both to remedy Apple and Nokia's harm and to discourage similar conduct in the future." Quinn Emanuel will also be responsible for ensuring that all copies of the expert report "containing confidential information are deleted, erased, wiped, or otherwise permanently removed from Samsung's control within fourteen days of this order."
"It is undisputed that at some point in late March 2012, a junior associate working late one night failed to fully redact Apple's confidential license terms from an expert report," Grewal said about Quinn Emanuel's role. "One inadvertent mistake resulted in the widespread distribution of confidential information to hundreds of people who were not authorized to have access to it."
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Legal White Papers | Webcasts