Judge Lucy Koh rules against Samsung in latest Patentgate order


Samsung is in hot water after it told Nokia it had viewed the terms of the patent agreement the Finnish company had negotiated with Apple. This disclosure was the fodder for potential sanctions against the Korean handset maker. Samsung tried to delay the investigation into this “Patentgate,” but Judge Lucy Koh shot down Samsung’s motions, says a report in FOSS Patents.

Earlier this month, it came to light that several Samsung executives were made aware of the terms of a patent licensing agreement between Apple and Nokia. This information was presented as part of Apple’s and Samsung’s legal battle and should have remained confidential. Apple asked the court to sanction Samsung for the illegal disclosure of confidential business information.

Judge Paul S. Grewal the United States District Court for the Northern District of California said in an order handed down on October 2 that there was a legitimate breach in confidentiality on Samsung’s part and the possibility of sanctions should be explored. A follow-up hearing was scheduled for October 22nd.

To delay this hearing Samsung filed motions in the US District Court for the Northern District of California asking Judge Lucy Koh to overrule Grewal’s decision to proceed with the sanction hearing. Samsung claimed Grewal’s findings were erroneous and contrary to law.

Koh handed down her order this week and sided with Grewal calling his decision “eminently reasonable”. In her order, she makes it clear she believes there was some wrongdoing on Samsung’s part. She writes,

“Samsung’s exhibits to its motions for relief show that Quinn Emanuel did in fact improperly disclose information about the other Apple licenses to Samsung’s employees.”

“Of further concern to the Court is that not only is there evidence that Samsung employees received confidential information and used it in their licensing negotiations with Nokia in violation of the protective order, but also this information may have been used by Samsung’s lawyers in other courts.”

Unless something changes, a hearing on the motion to sanction Samsung for these patent disclosures will be held as planned on October 22nd.

[Via FOSS Patents]

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