Ina Fried

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Judge to Samsung: Tell Me Again Why I Shouldn’t Sanction You

A judge overseeing document handling in the Apple-Samsung case said Friday that it appears Samsung’s outside lawyers did indeed violate an order that should have kept them from sharing certain documents with the Korean electronics giant.

For Your Eyes Only-feature

Nokia filed a motion in July arguing that Samsung’s lawyers had breached the protective order designed to keep business agreements obtained for the case away from the company itself. Apple filed a motion in August asking for sanctions and the right to investigate how Samsung officials came to know the details of Apple’s licensing agreement with Nokia.

Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal said he has finished poring through boxes and boxes of Samsung documents trying to get to the bottom of the ongoing dispute.

“Having finally crawled out from under the boxes, it appears to the undersigned that if anything was breached, it was this court’s protective order, and that sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted,” Grewal said in an order compelling Samsung to explain why sanctions aren’t merited for the violation.

Grewal said, “Even after this exhaustive process, the court still does not have a complete picture of the events giving rise to this procedural flurry.”

However, based on the evidence so far, he said it appears Quinn Emanuel lawyers failed to redact confidential business information from an expert report and that Samsung wrongfully used the information in preparing for negotiations with Nokia and Ericsson. As a result, he said, some sanctions appear warranted.

Samsung and its lawyers have until Dec. 2 to write a brief to make the case why sanctions aren’t warranted, while Apple and Nokia can file papers outlining what they feel appropriate sanctions would be.

A Samsung representative was not immediately available for comment.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work