Nokia Demands Privacy in Apple-Samsung Case
(CN) - Nokia, claiming "secrecy is a one-way street," said the release of its "highly confidential" information in a patent slugfest between Apple and Samsung would cause the company significant harm.
The root of the case lies in judgment Samsung faces in San Francisco for copying several of Apple's iPhone and iPad patents to produce its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets.
After halving the award last year, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh crafted a 22-page, 700-question verdict form to navigate jurors through complex patent litigation and award potentially billions of dollars at stake in the case.
The original jury had ignored the court's instructions by using calculation theories of Apple expert Terry Musika, which had been ruled legally impermissible, Koh said.
The second jury verdict, handed down in November 2013, netted Apple about $930 million.
The same month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said Apple's "pinch to zoom" feature was not actually a valid patent.
This past May, an eight-person jury ruled Samsung copied just three of Apple's patents and owed just under $120 million.
After Koh partially granted and denied 26 administrative motions to seal 134 documents in the ongoing skirmish, Nokia, which was not a party to the action, moved for a stay of the sealing order.
Filed on July 2, Nokia said a "limited stay is warranted because releasing Nokia's highly confidential information ... would cause Nokia significant harm by providing its competitors an unfair and unearned advantage in the marketplace."
"Further, this injury would be immediate and irreparable, for '[s]ecrecy is a one-way street': once confidential information has been released to the public, it 'cannot be made secret again,'" the brief by Alston & Bird attorney Ryan Koppelman continues.
There is "no substantial countervailing public or private interest in the immediate disclosure" of the documents, he added.
Koppelman identified the confidential information in question as "(i) nonpublic, competitively sensitive patent license terms, which the court has previously ruled are properly sealable, (ii) confidential licensing negotiations covered by non-disclosure agreements ('NDA') which Nokia is obligated to keep secret and which if made public would create competitive harm to Nokia, (iii) certain revealing analysis of Nokia's confidential licensing terms in comparison to various public information, (iv) the content of Nokia's internal confidential discussions about licensing issues and strategy, and (v) nonpublic details about confidential arbitrations that are also subject to NDAs."
"Nokia has a significant interest in keeping its confidential patent license terms and negotiation strategy secret because it would suffer competitive harm if this information is made public," Koppelman wrote.
Samsung has since asked U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal to halve about $2 million in expenses separately awarded to Apple and Nokia, calling the amount "unreasonable."
Grewal, in 2013, ruled that Samsung sent Apple's confidential licensing agreements to dozens - if not hundreds - of its employees and attorneys worldwide.
The judge found thatSamsung's outside counsel sent unredacted key terms of Apple's licensing agreements with Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp and Philips to Samsung headquarters, despite a protective order.
"While Judge Grewal's underlying sanctions order was properly narrow, the fees order was not because it includes Apple's and Nokia's mammoth expenses for their scorched-earth discovery expedition and serial motion practice that Judge Grewal ultimately found meritless," Samsung's motion filed Monday states.
In a second motion, also dated Monday, Samsung seeks to overturn what it called an "erroneous" privilege-waiver finding by Grewal.
"Apple and Nokia never agreed, and Samsung never produced any privileged or work- product documents," the motion states. "Under these circumstances, controlling Ninth Circuit law is clear there was no waiver, and Judge Grewal's waiver ruling should be reversed."