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US Judge Orders Apple To Share HTC Deal Details With Samsung 106

Posted by timothy
from the mandatory-transparency dept.
another random user writes with this news from the BBC: "A U.S. judge has ordered Apple to disclose details of its patent-sharing deal with HTC to its rival, Samsung. Apple and HTC signed a 10-year licence agreement earlier this month, but did not make the details public. Samsung, which is also involved in various patent disputes with Apple, asked the courts to tell Apple to furnish the information. It said it was 'almost certain' the deal covered some of the patents at the centre of its dispute with Apple. The court ordered Apple to produce a full copy of the settlement agreement 'without delay,' subject to an 'attorneys' eyes only' designation, meaning it will not be made public."
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US Judge Orders Apple To Share HTC Deal Details With Samsung

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  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:23PM (#42068205)

    Let's start a pool for how long it takes for this "attorneys' eyes only" document to be "accidentally" leaked to the public. I'm going to take 3 days.

    • Re:A Pool (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:41PM (#42068309)
      You'll lose that bet. Samsung is cool and level headed. Apple is known for childish antics like their "apology" to Samsung in the UK. Samsung's legal team are professionals. Apple grabbed the headlines with a billion dollar settlement, but it will be Samsung that has the last laugh. Samsung will easily get that verdict overturned on appeal. They are professionals, not amatuers like Apple legal.
    • I don't doubt that Apple would consider doing something like that, just to cast aspersions on Samsung in court. In trust, such secret settlement contracts should be illegal anyway, as they are prime building blocks for trust making activity.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      why would they have to? if the information is damning there are ways to release it publicly via the trial without it being "Accidental".

    • It will be posted on /. or the like before it is sent to the lawyer by someone in Apple/Apple's lawyer so I take 0 days.

    • let Apple, Samsung, and the judge find it out from their own preferred newspapers, and then we'll REALLY get this battle on from all the, uh, hmm, perceived spins put on strictly running the wire copy without changing a comma. it'll be like locking them all in a room and never opening the door after the noise stops.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      apple and htc shareholders should lobby for getting to know what's in the paper anyhow.

      because it's kinda important for judging a value for the company shares.

      • by MrDoh! (71235)
        Wish I had mod points for this. I'm very interested, and it's surely in the public interest to know what's going on in the company they choose to invest in.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:23PM (#42068207)

    Apple to produce a full copy of the settlement agreement 'without delay,' subject to an 'attorneys' eyes only' designation, meaning it will not be made public."

    But folks still say this [closed] American judicial system "is the best!"

  • by dryriver (1010635) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:29PM (#42068233)
    ... when, instead of competing fairly and squarely with Samsung, they decided to drag Samsung's Galaxy products through the courts and get their sales banned in several different territories, including several European countries. Samsung's products are well priced, well designed, well manufactured and ooze a sense of "quality" overall, while Apple is more of an "electronics fashion brand" in its marketing approach, catering to i-fanboys and i-fangirls who'll buy anyhing branded "Apple". ------ Face it, Apple: You cannot compete with a behemoth like Samsung by trying to twist the courts/the law to your advantage. Put some proper innovation on the market before Samsung, which makes seriously good products, rolls right over you... Good luck to you, because Samsung are seriously good at product design...
  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:45PM (#42068343) Homepage

    Truth is stranger than fiction...

    http://imgur.com/gallery/Swtc9 [imgur.com]

    • No wonder Samsung had all the stuff needed to infringe Apple patents quickly. It wasn't that they were a vendor it was because they had a "Specialist" on the inside. Nice.

    • I was fine learning that Samsung makes some of the parts in the iphone, but this is just creepy...

  • Then, if Samsung is able to read it, Apple will be able to say they copied iOS!

  • stomping around the universe.

    Best not to be underfoot during this battle.

    So the question remains, which one is Samsung, and which Apple ?

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:54PM (#42068399)

      stomping around the universe.

      Best not to be underfoot during this battle.

      So the question remains, which one is Samsung, and which Apple ?

      Why does it matter which is which? That was the whole point of the Dawn of the Third Age. Both "parents" were just as bad as each other.

      • by craznar (710808)

        Of course it matters which was which, the Shadows had way cooler stuff.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        does it matter which is which? That was the whole point of the Dawn of the Third Age.

        No, it was the dong of the third age. I am reminded, because I just finished rewatching that season.

    • by bazald (886779)

      So the question remains, which one is Samsung, and which Apple ?

      Pretty obvious, really. Apple cares about being hip, "Who are you?", and Android is all about user choice, or "What do you want?"

  • Its a start (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @03:49PM (#42068363)

    Eventually, make this whole patent/licensing/royalty an open market. The gov't grants you a patent. Fine. You get to decide what its worth. No problem. So, put up a 'For Sale' sign. You want $X per unit to use your technology. You accept that price from any buyers.

    This would go a long way toward ending patents as a club to selectively beat competitors over the head. And once we put a stop to that nonsense, companies will be a lot less enamored with their patent portfolios.

    • by thaylin (555395)
      And if they dont want to pay that amount? Your system seems identical to how the system works now, with just a small and insignificant change
      • by PPH (736903)
        Like I said: Its a start. And an open market is by no means insignificant. If everyone pays the same for a patent, then the holder can't discriminate against one manufacturer or in favor of another. The value of a patent portfolio as a tool for market manipulation is diminished. And the lobbying pressure to keep the system as is is diminished.
  • . . . it's being litigated in courts.

    Wanna make a big impact in the tech industry . . . ?

    Study law, not engineering.

  • Or just merge them all into a single company.

    • I don't think that would work very well.

      Samsung is one of the largest manufactures in the world and sells components to just about every other company in the world. They have something in virtually every TV, computer, cellphone, tablet... Name a modern electrical appliance and it probably has Samsung part in it.

      Apple is a designer brand that only sells finished products to consumers.
  • Apple gives HTC a good deal because there isn't as much of a mess in the courts with them vs Samsung. Then Samsung wants the info so they can claim that the award Apple got was too large. Nice. Sorry but companies can sell things to customers at different prices for whatever reason they want including but not limited to how much of a jerk you are.

    • by golodh (893453) on Thursday November 22, 2012 @04:26PM (#42068561)
      now read the facts so that you get an idea what you're talking about.

      See:

      http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012112121031884 [groklaw.net] .

      For those too lazy to follow a link, here is the gist:

      "Earlier this month Samsung asked that the court force Apple to turn over its settlement agreement with HTC, and today US Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal granted that requested. According to Samsung, the document could play a vital role in determining whether it will need to take any of its products off the market in the wake of the $1.049 billion verdict Apple won back in August. If Apple licensed some of its unique user experience patents, Samsung argues, then Cupertino is clearly fine with competitors using that IP as long as it receives money in return â" and since Apple will be receiving a payout in connection with the verdict, the extra step of an injunction isn't justified."

      In plain text: Apple: no injunctions for you and drop the damages you ask to what you can actually negotiate in the marketplace.

      Want to bet that Apple isn't at all happy about this?

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        If Apple licensed some of its unique user experience patents, Samsung argues, then Cupertino is clearly fine with competitors using that IP as long as it receives money in return Ã" and since Apple will be receiving a payout in connection with the verdict, the extra step of an injunction isn't justified."

        This could be bad though, not just for Apple, but Motorola AND Samsung.

        Remember, Motorola and Samsung are arguing for injunctions against iDevices for violating FRAND patents. If Samsung is indeed arg

        • by Sique (173459)
          Actually, Motorola offered Apple to license the patents, and Apple declined. So your argument is moot. Motorola was willing to license. Apple now tries to weazle out of the FRAND story by claiming that Motorola's prices weren't FRAND conform, but they got laughed out of court in Wisconsin already about this.
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Apple says: We won't license our patents, so ban them because there is no recourse that we will accept. (This agreement with HTC may prove that they do infact accept money for licenses)

          Motorola says: We will license them but apple refuses. Therefore ban them.

          Banning is only appropriate when:
          A) They refuse to pay for something. (What apple are doing)
          B) You refuse to sell something (at all) they are using. (what Apple CLAIM they are doing to Samsung)

          Fines are appropriate when:
          C) You will sell something t

      • There is always an amount of money that someone will license something for you (at least if they or their shareholders are sane). The court put a value on the damage of 1+ B they didn't say: "oh we don't know so we won't award anything." or "we agree irreprable harm so Apple you now own Samsung". They put a value on it.

        Now the value you put on it depends on the type of customer you have to deal with. Do you have to deal with a customer that rips your stuff off and only pays you after a legal battle? Or do y

  • ... in *ANY* of these lawsuits. (Don't forget, there are a whole lot more companies throwing suits around in the mobile space than just Apple and Sansung.) If those previously-confidentail settlements can be dragged out into the public courts; there's no longer a way for the companies involved to come to a cease fire that allows both sides to save face.

    Without that ability, watch all parties go for nothing but the full-out nuclear option in the future. There's no reason to do anything else.

  • Since both to these companies issued publicly traded shares of stock, they should be legally obliged by the SEC to disclose the exact nature of these settlements to the shareholders.
  • Is this fair to HTC, or does it give Samsung a further competitive advantage over them, given that they probably had something to gain in their agreement with Apple and keeping it from Samsung's eyes? HTC need all the help they can get.

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