Thursday, November 22, 2012

Samsung to get look at HTC - Apple patent deal, but only 33 words of it

As reported earlier, Samsung has made a motion to gain access to the patent licensing agreement that HTC and Apple just struck.

Samsung wanted to see the agreement, because judges generally prefer licensing agreements to injunctions against sales. Logically, if Samsung can prove that HTC and Apple came to terms over patents that are included in Apple's dispute with Samsung, it would disprove a necessary component to any injunction Apple might attempt to get against Samsung products.

HTC and Apple are fine with that, although any hesitation at providing the document would probably stem from Apple, based on the contentious nature of its relationship with Samsung. Still, there is a problem for Samsung.

The documents Apple and HTC will provide to Samsung will be heavily redacted. The Korean giant will have just 33 words to pore over, with the rest blacked out.

Worse still, apparently Samsung's lawyers agreed to the redacted copy. In a new filing by Apple on Wednesday, the company wrote:
HTC has advised the parties that it is willing to acquiesce to Apple’s production of the agreement on two conditions: (1) the Agreement must be marked Highly Confidential – Attorneys’ Eyes Only under the protective order; and (2) the consideration amount must be redacted. Samsung has agreed to both conditions.
When those conditions are met, all that is left for Samsung is 33 words. Apparently, Apple has emails from Samsung to prove that it agreed to the conditions.

We expect Samsung will appeal.

Updated: It appears that AllThingsD (linked above) had directions reversed. Apple wasn't going to give Samsung only 33 words of the deal. Rather, it was going to remove 33 words, the words that had specifics on the financial portion.

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