No More Apple-Samsung Seals, Judge Tells Nokia | Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023
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No More Apple-Samsung Seals, Judge Tells Nokia

SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) - U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has finally had enough of Nokia's persistent requests to seal files relating to licensing agreements Samsung leaked ahead of its fracas with Apple more than two years ago.

"The undersigned is not quite sure, but sealing in this case may just have officially passed from the sublime to the ridiculous," Grewal wrote.

Nokia's petulance began in 2013, after Grewal discovered that - during discovery ahead of the first iPhone-Galaxy squabble - Samsung had leaked unredacted key terms of Apple's licensing agreements with Nokia and other major smartphone players to hundreds of its employees worldwide.

Grewal sanctioned Samsung earlier this year for what was determined to be a single junior associate's goof. But the magistrate's sanction spiraled into high jinks over the summer, when Nokia lobbied to keep hundreds of documents under seal by claiming that "secrecy is a one-way street."

On Tuesday, Grewal refused to reconsider this issue by noting that most of the things Nokia wants to keep hidden "are quoted - verbatim - in articles available to anyone on the planet with a web browser and basic internet access."

Grewal pointed out articles published by Business Insider, the Wall Street Journal and AppleInsider in 2011, detailing Apple's payment of $715 million to settle its patent dispute with Nokia - all of which Nokia wanted sealed.

But, Grewal added in a footnote, the Finland-based company didn't find it necessary to request that the articles' URLs be sealed as well.

"If this were the court's first lament about sealing in this case - or second or third or fourth - the court could be more forgiving," Grewal wrote. "But at some point, the cost of such unwarranted sealing requests to the taxpayers, the press and other parties with equally important claims to the court's resources must take priority. Nokia's request for leave is denied."

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