One of the cool things about patent trials is that even though one company might accuse the other of infringement, the accused has a right to access confidential information from the accuser in order to defend itself. Such is the case of Samsung, as the company and its lawyers had access to all the Apple/Nokia patent deal documents that were confidential, but that were used in the recent trial that Samsung lost.
Even though the documents were all stamped with “for attorney’s eyes only”, Samsung later quoted exact terms of the deal in its own negotiations with Nokia. Obviously Samsung through that it was using these documents to its own advantage in reaching smart negotiations with Nokia, this proved that the court order had been breached. As a result the court decided to fine Samsung’s attorney Quinn Emanuel and also Samsung for the amount for $2 million. The charges were:
“(1) failure to institute sufficient safeguards for third-party confidential information, and (2) failure to comply with the notice and cooperation requirements set forth in Section 18(a) of the protective order entered in this case.”
Part of the money will go to Nokia and another part will go to Apple, as the statement reads:
With the limited exceptions described above, the court finds that the remaining costs and fees requested by Apple and Nokia are reasonable and shall be awarded. No later than 30 days from this order, Samsung and QE are to pay Nokia a total of $1,145,027.95 and Apple a total of $893,825.77 in fees and costs.
Sad to see that the court room drama hasn’t ended for Samsung, though if the company did reach a smart negotiation with Nokia, it’s clear that $2 million is just pocket change.