Apple keeps carrier contracts confidential

Samsung won't get a chance to look at the non-redacted versions of Apple's contracts with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone after Apple's lawyers provided assurance that the information that Samsung sought was not present in any of the documents.

Samsung won't get a chance to look at the non-redacted versions of Apple's contracts with Telstra, Optus and Vodafone after Apple's lawyers provided assurance that the information that Samsung sought was not present in any of the documents.

Samsung was after Apple's contracts with Australia's peak three telecommunications providers in order to determine how the iPhone 4S is being sold by the carriers, so that it can assess the iPhone 4S's damage to Samsung's market share.

The NSW branch of the Federal Court made an order yesterday that Apple had until noon on 10 November 2011 to produce certain contract terms or face disclosing full, non-redacted contracts to Samsung's barristers.

Despite dismissing the notice to produce as being a Samsung-led "fishing expedition" yesterday in court, Apple complied with the notice to produce, informing representatives from Samsung that the clauses that it was seeking to confirm as being present within the contracts were in fact nowhere to be found.

However, Samsung expressed a degree of mistrust over this, seeking support from the court to compel Apple to provide the contracts.

Justice Annabelle Bennett assured Samsung's legal representative that she was confident that the information was accurate. She said that if Samsung wanted to press the issue, the court would have to hear how Telstra, Vodafone and Optus, their legal counsels and others interpreted the contracts when they were initially signed.

Samsung's lawyer, upon instruction, hastily dropped its pursuit for the documents.

Bennett drowning in documents

Justice Bennett also used today's case to highlight to the parties a need for brevity when submitting legal documents, as seven boxes of evidence have already been carted into her office for a hearing set to kick off mid next week, leaving Bennett with little time to prepare.

"For me to understand the submissions made in this case, I'm going to have to be taken through the evidence. It is vital that some sort of assessment [needs to be] made from the evidence produced by both parties, so only tender to me that which you actually need.

"There's been seven boxes so far, and that's just not physically possible. Both parties want a decision I assume sometime soon; that's not possible [with this much documentation]," Bennett said, before encouraging the two parties to trim down their document filings and use their time out of court as efficiently as possible to ensure that the case can in fact continue next week.