Sunday, October 6, 2013

Samsung Executives Were Given Details of a Highly Confidential Nokia-Apple Patent License

Apple is seeking sanctions against Samsung after it was discovered that company executives were given details of a highly confidential Nokia-Apple patent license, reports FOSS Patents.

At a hearing on Wednesday, Apple and possibly Nokia requested sanctions against Samsung and/or its outside counsel for illegal disclosure of confidential business information.

On June 4th, 2013, executives from Samsung and Nokia held a meeting to discuss a patent licensing deal. At that meeting, Samsung executive Dr. Seungho Ahn, "informed Nokia that the terms of the Apple-Nokia license were known to him".

Nokia's Chief Intellectual Property Officer, Paul Melin, says that at Ahn "stated that Apple had produced the Apple-Nokia license in its litigation with Samsung, and that Samsung's outside counsel had provided his team with the terms of the Apple-Nokia license". Additionally, Melin said that "to prove to Nokia that he knew the confidential terms of the Apple-Nokia license, Dr. Ahn recited the terms of the license, and even went so far as to tell Nokia that 'all information leaks.'"

Judge Grewal writes "[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"; however, the court is seeking more information to determine "[w]hether the actions of Samsung and its counsel are worthy of sanctions, and what those sanctions might be".

Notably, Apple also provided license agreements it stuck with Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips to outside Samsung counsel under the same confidentiality rules.

The next hearing on this issue is scheduled for October 22nd.

You can find a much more detailed explanation of the situation at this link...

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