Judge Orders Apple And HTC To Give Samsung Details of Settlement

Earlier in the month, Apple and HTC had announced a global settlement to all their legal disputes, after the two companies agreed to a ten year patent licensing agreement, details of which were kept confidential.

Last week, Samsung had asked a U.S. judge to turn over a copy of Apple’s agreement with HTC to know the extent to which the deal covered Apple’s patent portfolio.

The Verge has just reported that a US Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal has granted that request. Samsung wanted to know the terms of the Apple-HTC agreement to support its opposition to Apple’s permanent injunction motion.

If Apple licensed some of its unique user experience patents, Samsung argues, then Cupertino is clearly fine with competitors using that IP as long as it receives money in return — and since Apple will be receiving a payout in connection with the verdict, the extra step of an injunction isn’t justified.

According to the court document, Apple was willing to share the agreement with Samsung but HTC did not want to divulge the financial terms because of their competitive value.

At today’s hearing, Samsung insisted that it wanted the unredacted version of the settlement agreement as the financial terms asserts its argument that a royalty is more suitable than a permanent injunction.

Even though the judge was “more than a little skeptical” of Samsung’s argument regarding the financial terms, he ordered Apple and HTC to handover the unredacted document. We’re unlikely to get the details of the agreement as the documents are subject to an Attorneys-Eyes-Only designation under the protective order.

[via The Verge, Scales of Justice by mikecogh from Flickr]

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