Court Tells Apple To Give Samsung All The Details Of HTC Patent Deal

By Khurram Aziz | Nov 23, 2012 09:31 AM EST

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email

Samsung has won an order to gain access to the full details of Apple's 10-year licensing deal with HTC, but only the parties in the litigation will be privy to its contents. The South Korean company successfully argued in front of judge Paul Grewal of the US District Court for the Northern District of California, that the agreement was relevant to its own patent infringement dispute with Apple.

Follow us

Apple and HTC had earlier agreed to produce a version of the agreement but with key sensitive information redacted. That information, which HTC believes is highly "competition sensitive" includes the amount the company is paying to license Apple's patents and how that fee is calculated.

However, judge Greval has ordered a full un-redacted version to be made available to Samsung's attorneys.

"Many third parties to this case have had their licensing agreements disclosed - without any redaction of financial terms - subject to an Attorneys-Eyes-Only designation because the confidential financial terms were clearly relevant to the dispute between Apple and Samsung," wrote Judge Grewal in his order. "HTC is not entitled to special treatment, particularly as it has recognized the general sufficiency of the protective order and the integrity of Samsung's outside counsel."

Apple is among several companies engaged in a so-called "patent war" over smartphone technology, which includes Motorola, Samsung, HTC, and Microsoft. Apple, in particular, has taken aim at companies using Google's Android operating system which it believes copies the software patents for its iPhone and iPad. It has had litigation against all the major Android manufacturers in courts around the world. However, in October, Apple settled all litigations against HTC, agreeing to license its patents for 10 years.

A copy of the redacted patent settlement posted on the Foss Patents blog, run by Florian Mueller, shows that the patent litigation between Apple and the Taiwanese firm dismisses all litigation between the two "without prejudice".

"This is presumably part of the protection that Apple wanted against a change of control," said Mueller. "The change-of-control rules and the kind of dismissal apply to both parties, but realistically, Apple is not going to be acquired during the ten-year term, while HTC is small enough that many other industry players could afford a deal. If anyone wants to buy HTC now, it's still possible, but the Apple agreement won't benefit the new owner."

Samsung has several patent cases against Apple in the US. In August, a separate court in California ordered the South Korean firm to pay $1.05 billion in damages for infringing the designs of Apple's iPad and iPhone. That decision is currently in appeal and Samsung has separate countersuits against Apple also in California.

Samsung asked the court to see a copy of the HTC settlement because it almost certainly covers at least some of the patents in the suit, and Apple's willingness to agree a license may undermine its claim of irreparable harm and demonstrate that monetary remedies are adequate.

The company said during a hearing that the financial terms of the agreement support its argument that a royalty is a more suitable alternative to a permanent injunction against its product.

The court is scheduled to hear arguments to decide on Apple's plea for a permanent injunction on the sale of some Samsung phones in December.

Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

Join Our Conversation

Smartphones
Motorola Droid Turbo blue color option coming soon on Best Buy Verizon-bound Motorola Droid Turbo gets blue color option on Best Buy
Best Buy Nexus 9 deal: Get $100 off with old tablet trade-in
Samsung Galaxy A5 gets pricing details for dual-SIM model, available for purchase
AT&T Nexus 6 stock pulled and sent back to Motorola over software bug
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8 Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Gadgets
Amazon Logo Amazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC Logo HTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google Downtime Google blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
Flipboard for Windows Phone Flipboard for Windows Phone finally available, but requires 1GB of RAM (VIDEO)
Vine gets major update, lets you upload previously-shot videos & more (VIDEO)
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) finally hits Windows Phone – Available as a free download now
Instagram releases Bolt ephemeral messaging app in select markets to challenge Snapchat
Copyright © 2014 Mobile & Apps All rights reserved. mobilenapps
Real Time Analytics