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Samsung denies wrongdoing after media statement upsets court

Samsung got off to a rather rocky start in its landmark patent battle with Apple, angering the judge by releasing to the media information about evidence that was excluded from the trial.

In a Wednesday filing, however, Samsung lawyer John B. Quinn defended the move. All the data that was provided to the press was already in the public record, and Samsung is within its rights to discuss a trial that is open to the public, Quinn said.

Late Tuesday evening, Samsung sent out a statement regarding evidence that Judge Lucy Koh had excluded. Several media outlets picked up the news and published stories within the hour. That reportedly did not sit well with Apple or Judge Koh, who requested a meeting with Quinn and warned, "don't make me sanction you," according to All Things D.

Apple accused Samsung of drafting a press release to sway the jury, but Quinn denied those charges.

"Samsung did not issue a general press release," Quinn wrote, saying instead that the company released a "brief statement" amidst various requests for comment from media outlets. The move, he argued, "did not violate any court order or any legal or ethical standard."

"These false representations by Apple's counsel publicly and unfairly called my personal reputation into question and have resulted in media reports likewise falsely impugning me personally," Quinn wrote.

Quinn argued that the evidence in question - references to Sony and Samsung's independent creation - "was previously in the public record" and had appeared in dozens of stories about the case. Quinn also pointed to the fact that the court has told both sides that "the whole trial is going to be open."

By the time Samsung sent the information, the jury had already been selected and were instructed not to read any stories about the case, so the move was "not motivated by or designed to influence jurors," Quinn argued.

Neither Apple nor Judge Koh have filed responses to Samsung's declaration yet.