Apple, Samsung patent dispute 'secrets' leak from court

Leaked 'redacted' reports from the Samsung and Apple debacle show some interesting behind-the-scenes pre-litigation action by the two companies.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who this week ruled that while Samsung may not be immune from a wider patent suit, it will not have sales of its products banned in the United States.

But Koh's ruling accidentally leaked in full, where it had meant to be redacted to prevent 'secrets' from the court ruling from reaching the outside world -- or worse, the companies' competitors.

Viewers of the document were able to highlight the seemingly redacted version of the ruling, and copy and paste it into a text editor to reveal the blacked out sections.


Reuters managed to obtain a copy of the documents, but sister site CNET points out that the findings are hardly earth-shattering.

The case between Apple and Samsung is expected to go to trial early next year, after the Cupertino giant sued the Korean smartphone maker in April.

Still, the unredacted documents to highlight an interesting state of affairs for both Samsung and Apple. The details mostly include how the smartphone maker is playing out, as well as details as to how Apple works with other companies to license its patented technology.

Included in the unredacted reports:

Apple claimed that Samsung is no threat to its business. Many had wondered that the global patent conflict was Apple signifying at least a half-worry that Samsung's partnership with Android could dominate the market -- which it subsequently has.

Apple also believed that its current customers would be unlikely to switch to a Samsung smartphone. In fact, its studies showed that Samsung would take marketshare away from other manufacturers

Samsung argued that Apple's supply cannot keep up with the demand that the iPhone presents; in short, selling more than the company can manufacture. Samsung still continues to supply Apple with mobile processors; a partnership it has maintained as a crucial source of revenue for the Korean giant even amidst a global patent conflict.

But the claims made by Samsung were deemed "dubious" by Koh, after Apple presented evidence to show that it had been able to do consistently beforehand.

Court documents also suggest that Apple offered Samsung licensing arrangements in the run-up to litigation, nearly six months before hand, in November 2010. CNET suggests that this was part of Apple's plan to actively work with Android partners, than move against the growth of the platform.

But a footnote suggested that while Apple brought suits against Samsung for 'utility' patents -- relating to such items as networking -- as well as design patents, "it does not appear" that design patents were discussed during the preceding litigation.

According to the 'unredacted' ruling, Apple had already licensed the patent to Nokia and IBM; crucial in how iPads and iPhone scrolled through documents and image.

Though Apple and Nokia publicly announced a settlement to its licensing trouble for an undisclosed amount in June this year, no specifics were given, except that all litigation was hereby resolved. It is thought that Nokia gained $600 million from Apple as part of the agreement.

Apple and Samsung continue to battle in over 20 cases in 10 different jurisdictions, including in the U.S., Germany, and Australia.


As it happened: