Secrecy bid in Apple vs Samsung lawsuit denied

Summary:Requests to cloak the patent dispute in secrecy made by both Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co. have been been denied by a U.S. judge.

Requests to cloak the patent dispute in secrecy made by both Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co. have been been denied.

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The companies wanted to keep portions of sensitive documents key to the case out of the public's gaze during the patent dispute, but their requests have been rejected by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, California, ruled Tuesday that "it appears that the parties have overdesignated confidential documents and are seeking to seal information that is not truly sealable," according to Reuters. She continued:

"Only documents of exceptionally sensitive information that truly deserve protection will be allowed to be redacted or kept from the public."

Apple and Samsung have one week to refile their sealing requests. Filing documents "under seal" has become a common practice in cases where intellectual property rights are involved -- usually as an attempt to keep trade secrets and sensitive information out of the public domain.

The trial is due to begin July 30. The long-term confrontation between the two technology giants began in 2011 when Apple filed a lawsuit accusing Samsung of copying the "look and feel" of the iPad and iPhone. This quickly resulted in a countersuit of patent violations against Apple.

The high-profile case has not been limited to one country; moving from the United States to South Korea, Japan and Germany.

Koh has already granted partial injunctions against U.S. sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 and its Galaxy Nexus phone model. If Apple proves successful, this could become permanent -- stripping away the important U.S. market for the South Korean company. Samsung is appealing both injunctions.

Apple and Samsung could not immediately be reached for comment.

Topics: Apple, Samsung

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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