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Samsung given chance to wriggle out of fine

Samsung is being invited to explain why it shouldn’t be fined after a judge agreed it probably violated a court-ordered agreement to keep Apple documents secret as he stated that punishments for Samsung and its legal team are likely.

Judge Paul Grewal overseeing the case has asked Samsung to produce documents that show it did nothing wrong to prove his opinion wrong that "sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted.”

Samsung and its counsel has until 2 December to file a brief to show why sanctions should not be levied with Apple and Nokia also invited to submit a brief by the same day that will detail sanctions each thinks is appropriate.

The case is a part of the long-running patent battle between Apple and Samsung, stemming from a group of documents the former was ordered to turnover to Samsung as part of another case.

Apple was ordered to provide copies of its licensing deals with other companies, such as Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips, to Samsung’s outside counsel with only redacted versions allowed to be seen by internal Samsung staff.

This was done to prevent Samsung using the information for professional gain and it was found that data about a licensing deal between Apple and Nokia was sent in an uncensored format thus giving Samsung every detail about the deal.

In total 50 Samsung executives viewed the data and it was even posted to an FTP site accessible by Samsung personnel. The crux of the current case centres around whether the information was revealed intentionally or accidentally with Grewal seemingly agreeing it was a deliberate leak.

The leaked information lead to a 4 June 2013 meeting between Nokia’s chief intellectual property officer Paul Melin and Samsung’s Dr. Seungho Ahn, where the latter attempted to use the terms of the Apple and Nokia deal to urge Nokia to sign a similar one with Samsung.

The hearing to examine all the testimony takes place on 9 December at 15:00 PST with any punishments to be revealed in due course.