Court: Apple & Samsung don't have to disclose secrets

Steven Loeb · August 26, 2013 · Short URL:

U.S. Appeals Court overrules decision forcing Apple and Samsung to disclose sensitive information

It's been a while since we've heard anything from the battle between Apple and Samsung over patent rights. But now we finally have some new news!

A U.S. Appeals Court ruled late last week that the two companies would not have to disclose "exceptionally sensitive sensitive information," regarding their sales and profits, according to a report from AllThingsD on Sunday. 

"“We recognize the importance of protecting the public’s interest in judicial proceedings and of facilitating its understanding of those proceedings,” the three judge panel is quoted as saying.

“That interest, however, does not extend to mere curiosity about the parties’ confidential information where that information is not central to a decision on the merits. While protecting the public’s interest in access to the courts, we must remain mindful of the parties’ right to access those same courts upon terms which will not unduly harm their competitive interest.”

The two companies were ordered to disclose the information by Judge Lucy Koh, who oversaw the case between Apple and Samsung in San Jose last summer. Koh said that disclosing the information would be in the best interest of the public.

The two companies have been fighting that ruling ever since. 

The original outcome of the between Apple and Samsung trial was determined in late August of last year, when a U.S. jury ruled that Samsung had violated six of Apple’s patents on its smartphone and tablet technology. Apple had sued Samsung for supposedly having stolen features from the iPhone and iPad to make its products, including Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, and Tab 10.1.

The court ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 billion in damages, less than half of the $2.5 billion that Apple had been demanding.

While Samsung had charged in a counter suit that Apple had actually infringed on some of its patents as well, the jury did not find it that way and did not order Apple to pay any damages to Samsung.  Samsung had been asking for $422 million in damages.

Samsung also lost in a U.S. court in September of last year, when an International Trade Commission Judge ruled that that Apple did not violate Samsung’s patents when it made its iPhones, iPads and iPod touch in a preliminary ruling.

Samsung had accused Apple of violating four patents, and was attempting to block the import of Apple devices into the United States.

Samsung and Apple may still be fighting it out in the courts, but Samsung is winning where it counts.

Android shipped 187.4 million units, for 79.3% of the market share in smartphones in the most recent quarter, according to a report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) earlier this month.

And Samsung was, by far, Android's largest vendor, shipping 73.3 million units, or 39.1% of all Android phones. No other vendor even had 7%. 

Meanwhile, Apple saw 31.2 million smartphone units shipped, for a 13.2% market share.

Apple and Samsung could not be reached for comment. 

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