updated 09:38 am EST, Wed March 5, 2014
Court filing points out double-standard in allegations
At the same time as it was accusing Samsung of leaking the same information, Apple publicly exposed the terms of its patent licensing terms with Nokia and NEC, Samsung remarks in its latest Apple v. Samsung lawsuit filing. In October, Apple filed a motion against Samsung as part of the original Apple v. Samsung case, alleging that Samsung's counsel -- Quinn Emanuel -- had inadvertently leaked licensing terms to Samsung executives, giving them an edge in corporate negotiations. In January the the District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the latter was never sufficiently proven, and denied sanctions against Samsung, pinning the blame on counsel.
Samsung's new motion to compel reveals that Apple itself actually published the licensing terms to the Internet on October 10th, leaving them uncensored for four months. "Apple's and Nokia's scorched-earth approach to Samsung's inadvertent disclosure, and the amount of the concomitant fees Apple and Nokia incurred in pursuing those efforts, must be juxtaposed against the fact that Apple had simultaneously posted (and Nokia neglected to notice) this information on the Internet for all the world to see. The fee award should be reduced accordingly," the motion reads. Apple and Nokia are said to have tried to seal any mention of the October misfiling; Nokia is claimed to have wanted the seal to last indefinitely, on the belief that people who had already downloaded the docket without grasping its contents would be alerted to its importance.
While Quinn Emanuel may be most concerned with reducing its own penalties, Samsung could conceivably use the information to ask for sanctions against Apple. This is particular true if, as Quinn Emanuel says, Apple also accidentally leaked documents containing licensing terms for Samsung and Google. A court hearing is scheduled for April 8th.