Ina Fried

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Apple Loses Bid to Keep Customer Survey Secret

The judge overseeing Apple’s patent lawsuit against Samsung said Apple can’t keep secret a marketing survey it took of its customers.

Apple argued that the survey’s release would aid competitors, as the data is not available elsewhere.

“It’s plainly a trade secret,” Apple’s lawyer told the court. “There’s no reason for a document to come into evidence in its entirety.”

Judge Lucy Koh disagreed, but allowed Apple time to file an appeal.

“I’m denying your request to seal today, so take it up on appeal,” Koh said.

Meanwhile, in another hotly contested issue, Koh said she was denying Apple’s request for sanctions against Samsung for a press release that made reference to evidence that Koh had excluded, and said that it was information the jury needed to know.

Koh said that she was troubled by the release for the potential it had to tamper with the jury — a jury that, as Koh pointed out, included several members that had already heard about the case prior to being empaneled.

“I will not allow any theatrics or sideshow distract us from what we are here to do,” Koh said.

She did say she would poll the jurors individually to make sure they had not heard anything. That process is now taking place. Most said they had not heard about the case, but one juror said he had seen a few headlines, but nothing else.

Koh noted that the fact that the disputed evidence was excluded was an issue of Samsung’s making, since it stemmed from the company not disclosing the evidence in a timely manner. Koh said that both Apple and Samsung are being held to the same standard, and that Apple also had theories and evidence excluded that they did not disclose in time.

Testimony is due to resume shortly, with Phil Schiller retaking the stand, after testifying for only a couple of minutes before court adjourned on Tuesday.

Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage


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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