Judge: Apple / HTC Patent Agreement Must Be Revealed (Except For Dollar Amount)
from the so-we-shall-see dept
Last month, we wrote about Apple and HTC settling their ongoing patent dispute, and the subsequent request by Samsung to see the details, which were being kept confidential. It wasn’t so much the amount paid that interested Samsung, but which patents were included in the settlement. That’s because, in the Apple/Samsung case, Apple has argued that it would never license some of its patents, and thus there should be an injunction banning the sale of certain Samsung devices. However, if those same patents are found in the HTC agreement… then Samsung can point out that, not only is Apple lying to the court, but that an injunction should be off the table. That’s because the law suggests injunctions only make sense when there is “irreparable harm.” And if you can just pay up the missed license fees, then it’s clearly not “irreparable.”
The court quickly granted Samsung’s request and has now gone a step further, saying that the agreement itself should be made public, except for pricing and royalty terms. Bizarrely, it was actually Samsung who sought to have the information about what patents were included under seal — such that it could see it, but the public could not. Either way, the judge has made it clear that the patents need to be made public as there’s no compelling interest in keeping them secret.