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Apple mistakenly aired Nokia licensing terms while sanctioning Samsung for doing the same

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
In a court filing late Tuesday, Samsung revealed that Apple publicly disclosed details of its patent licensing terms with Nokia, as well as NEC, on the PACER electronic court records system, while at the same time seeking damages from the Korean tech giant for leaking that very information.

Ahn


Apple in October brought motion against Samsung as part of the original Apple v. Samsung California patent trial when it came to light that the Korean company's counsel inadvertently disseminated sensitive patent licensing information to Samsung executives. Apple and Nokia contend the information was used by Samsung to get a leg up on competitors, though the allegations were not adequately proven.

Now, according to a Samsung motion to compel spotted by FOSS Patents' Florian Mueller, it appears Apple itself had published documents on Oct. 10, 2013, containing those exact terms to the Internet, leaving them there for four months before they were redacted.

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.



In January, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled it would not sanction Samsung for the alleged leak as Apple and Nokia failed to prove the information was leveraged unfairly in subsequent patent licensing negotiations. instead placed blame on the company's counsel Quinn Emmanuel.

Apple and Nokia apparently attempted to seal all mention of the October misfiling, which Samsung claims was a move meant to hide the error from the public. Nokia supposedly argued the filings should remain sealed indefinitely because individuals who already downloaded the docket without realizing its contents would be alerted to its sensitive nature.

With the motion to compel, Quinn Emmanuel's endgame is to reduce fees associated with the court's sanctions over the alleged leak. Further, Samsung may turn the tables by sanctioning Apple, depending on what new information comes to light. The motion claims Apple inadvertently filed, on two separate subsequent occasions, additional documents containing licensing terms with Samsung and Google.

The court has scheduled a hearing for Apr. 8 to discuss the matter.

post #2 of 37
Oops!
post #3 of 37
In the famous words of Emily Litella; "Never mind!"
post #4 of 37

Oh dear.  I'm not sure if there's a legal argument on "pot calling the kettle black" lines, but I can't imagine this will help Apple out.

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post #5 of 37

So Apple should also be fined and have to pay themselves for leaking the information as well. 

 

Maybe this is entirely different but it almost sounds like saying you didn't break into the house because the door was left unlocked. 

post #6 of 37
We'll see how this plays out when all of the details are revealed -- it may or may not turn out to be the same thing. Apple should be treated the same as any other company if found guilty of wrong-doing. Period.
Edited by Bilbo63 - 3/5/14 at 4:31am
post #7 of 37
Unless Samsung is claiming that the inadvertent public posting on the internet was their source (and hence, could not have been a leak of a confidential document), I don't see where they're going with this or how it matters.

Apples and samsungs, as far as I can see.
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post

We'll see how this plays out when all of the details are revealed -- it may or may not turn out to be the same thing. Apple should be treated the same as any other company if found guilty of wrong-doing. Period.

Unless Nokia is complaining, and I don't see where they have, Apple won't be found to do anything wrong. Their attorneys were just ridiculously careless, even more so than Quinn Emanuel in representing Samsung. Apple put the entire contract out for public viewing. There's almost certainly some folks who downloaded the document via Pacer but till now didn't realize the significance of it. Florian is kicking himself that he didn't notice it until Samsung brought it up. I'd suspect the royalty terms and cross-licensing details will make it out to the public at some point.

I don't see how Apple is going to continue to legitimately claim damages (in an ITC case as well) and demand heavy sanctions from a QE mistake when Apple did it to themselves, and out in public. They also tried to seal the record of their error so no one would notice. QE shouldn't get off scott-free, but heavy monetary sanctions may now be off the table.

Back in October when FOSSPatents heard the news of Quinn-Emanuel's leak Florian had this to say:
"The order came down after a hearing held yesterday on a request by Apple (and possibly also one by Nokia) for sanctions against Samsung (and/or its outside counsel) for violation of a protective order, i.e., for illegal disclosure of (in this case, extremely) confidential business information.
I must say that I'm shocked."
.

Florian's reaction today when he learned of Apple doing the same thing? "I'm almost speechless".

EDIT: Apple also publicly revealed the contracts terms of their NEC agreement that was supposed to be confidential.

EDIT2: Just like Apple did now Samsung will play this for everything they can get out of it. They've requested the court to order Apple to provide an explanation about how they could have made such an error , only fair to expect "transparency and evenhandedness." On April 8th the court will entertain Samsung's new motions. Worse, it's being reported that the possibility of sanctions against Apple and/or their attorneys aren't off the table since those docs marked for "Attorney Eyes Only". Also the court filing that AI linked at the end of their article is worth a read IMO. It looks as tho there was another previously undisclosed Apple leak in November last year?

So the first sentence of my post may be way off-base. Crazy stuff.
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/14 at 5:38am
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post #9 of 37
I'm pretty sure there is a legal difference between "I shot myself in the foot" and "You shot me in the foot."
post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by walletinspector View Post

I'm pretty sure there is a legal difference between "I shot myself in the foot" and "You shot me in the foot."

In this particular case there may not be that big a difference as far as the court is concerned. Neither one of them had permission to brandish the gun.
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post #11 of 37
For Apple to publicize their own confidential documents online is their own business. But for Samsung to post Apple's confidential information, that's wrong.
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post #12 of 37
If this is true, someone's gonna get fired
post #13 of 37
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

Maybe this is entirely different but it almost sounds like saying you didn't break into the house because the door was left unlocked. 

 

That’s what worries me about this nonsense, Mr. Gates.

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #14 of 37

I don't see how Apple did anything wrong.  But Samsung should be punished.

post #15 of 37

If Samsung is claiming that its disclosure of Apple's licence was an accident and Apple turns around and says that its disclosure of the Nokia and NEC licences was done by accident...

 

... well, Samsung could possibly be off the hook. Accidents happen.

 

Either that or Apple can incriminate itself even further... and both Samsung and Apple will be facing the same charge.

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post #16 of 37
Sanction is incorrect, they called for sanctions, they didn't get to sanction.

Also, and this is exciting, sanction is one of those English words which means it's opposite depending on context. To allow or disallow. Dust is another.
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post #17 of 37
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Neither one of them had permission to brandish the gun.

 

Uh, it’s Apple’s gun. Pretty sure they had the right.

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post #18 of 37

Okay, not going to make excuses for Apple it sounds like someone screw up by posting those documents and we all can speculated what happen and why.

 

However, that fact most likely will have no baring on what Samsung Law firm did. Most all those documents where labeled with something to the effect that said for Lawyers eyes only, meaning no matter what apple did with those documents themselves, it did not relieve the law firm from their legal responsibility. They are still responsible for handing over documents which they should not have. The only question is how much the court will sanction them. probably a lot less now.


Edited by Maestro64 - 3/6/14 at 11:46am
post #19 of 37
Two accidental leaks: maybe the same?

The way Samsung used the info: not the same.
post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Uh, it’s Apple’s gun. Pretty sure they had the right.

Originally I was thinking along the same lines but after some reading I'm pretty sure they did not.

Apple and Nokia, and presumably the other companies whose licensing docs were submitted as evidence, asked that the documents be kept confidential. Samsung agreed that it would be the proper action. It was the court that made the order, and it applied to all parties in the action. Neither Apple nor Samsung had permission to violate the court order no matter where the documents may have originated. If you stopped to consider that more than Apple and Samsung interests are being protected it makes sense.
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post #21 of 37
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Apple and Nokia, and presumably the other companies whose licensing docs were submitted as evidence, asked that the documents be kept confidential.

 

So since Apple asked for them to be confidential, the fact that they weren’t sounds a lot like not Apple’s problem. 

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So since Apple asked for them to be confidential, the fact that they weren’t sounds a lot like not Apple’s problem. 

Nokia also asked that they be kept confidential, as NEC almost assuredly did too before agreeing to submit them. Surely you don't believe Apple can simply ignore the other parties rights even if you think they could ignore the court order.

It was a dumb and perhaps inexplicable mistake on their attorneys part. A dumb mistake from Samsung's attorneys too.
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/14 at 8:39am
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post #23 of 37
Two wrongs don't make it right.
post #24 of 37
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
Apple can simply ignore the other parties rights

 

I don’t see how this applies. Apple also wanted it confidential. So Apple ignored Apple’s rights?

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #25 of 37

Apple can be careless with their own confidential material as much as they want, but when another party has a stake in the confidential material then Apple has obligations to keep it confidential, or face legal consequences.  Obviously.

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post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I don’t see how this applies. Apple also wanted it confidential. So Apple ignored Apple’s rights?

Really TS?

If Nokia wanted the terms confidential and Apple inadvertently revealed them, the same complaint that Nokia registered with the judge when Samsung's counsel did so, you don't see a similarity? In both cases a court order was ignored, whether by plan or accident.

At least Samsung kept it in-house (and says that's not where it came from anyway) while Apple made it available for public discovery. I expect those confidential Nokia contract details mistakenly revealed by Apple will be passed around among interested companies when someone inevitably finds they have it.

In any event I don't expect Apple to be sanctioned by the court, but I wouldn't be at all surprised at all if Apple gets to pay their own attorneys fees.
Edited by Gatorguy - 3/5/14 at 9:33am
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post #27 of 37
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post
inadvertently

 

There we go. The difference is intent.

 
…when Samsungs counsel did…

 

Purposefully. Not inadvertently.

 
…whether by plan or accident…

 

Because murder 1 ≡ murder 4¡ :no:

Originally posted by Marvin

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post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

There we go. The difference is intent.

Purposefully. Not inadvertently.

Because murder 1 ≡ murder 4¡ 1oyvey.gif

You're very mistaken TS. the court found QE's reveal was unintentional. Of course you're free to make up your own theory, but it won't change the facts.
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post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Because murder 1 ≡ murder 4¡ 1oyvey.gif

Ask the dead guy if what his killer is charged with matters.
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post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


You're very mistaken TS. the court found QE's reveal was unintentional. Of course you're free to make up your own theory, but it won't change the facts.

Still...2 different situations entirely.

#1: I'm found dead off the side of a cliff.  My wife (spotted at the scene of the crime) had divorce papers based on me cheating not to mention my multi-million dollar life insurance policy.

#2: I'm found dead off the side of a cliff.  My mom (spotted at the scene of the crime) was there to meet me for lunch.

 

Clearly, in the eyes of a judge/jury...2 very different situations...even IF both may have been an "accident".

 

Edit: I do get that there are ramifications besides Apple's.

post #31 of 37

Didn't the court already rule the disclosure by Quinn Emanuel to be inadvertent and require the law firm to pay penalties? I believed it's a settled matter, regardless of opinion.

 

The accidental disclosures by Apple are being brought up to reduce the penalties to the law firm, not Samsung. The argument being made that inadvertent is inadvertent and Apple did release confidential information they were bound not to disclose publicly. 

 

Secondly, the damage being higher as instead of information being 'leaked' to 1 company, it was leaked to the general public and even though no longer posted, there's no realistic way to make the information private again.

post #32 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

The only thing more insecure than Windows/Android is their users.

 

Should "The only thing more insecure than Windows/Android are their users." Windows and Android are two different entities, is = singular, are = plural.

post #33 of 37
My only thought in this is standing. What legal right does Samsung have to request sanctions against Apple or their legal team when they were not the injured party? Do they even have standing to do so? 1confused.gif
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post #34 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

Should "The only thing more insecure than Windows/Android are their users." Windows and Android are two different entities, is = singular, are = plural.
It was a quote of what someone else said, leave it be... 1tongue.gif
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post #35 of 37
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post
Ask the dead guy if what his killer is charged with matters.

 

We’ll have to kill Samsung first.

 

Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

Should "The only thing more insecure than Windows/Android are their users." Windows and Android are two different entities, is = singular, are = plural.

 

Given slashed options in a sentence, only one is read at a time. Think of it how a compound complex sentence is diagrammed; each branch of the subject/predicate that has multiple parts can be read with the primary verb and other half of the sentence on its own.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #36 of 37
Devil is in the details. When did the Samsung leak occur. If it was before the posting then the posting Is a moot argument. Apple and Nokia are welcome to reveal whatever they want because it is their terms. Samsung has no grounds to cry anything, only Nokia could. If they didn't give approval.

The articles that Samsung wouldn't be sanctioned cause Apple etc couldn't prove it was on purpose or the information misused were around oct 1-3. About events from several weeks to months before. Apple's alleged accident was posted to PACER. In Oct 10th. Who knows what happened in between then. But given this was in Oct if Nokia or NEC had an issue it likely would have been spotted and dealt with by now.

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post #37 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

We’ll have to kill Samsung first.

Lol I wouldn't have a problem with that.
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