Apple v. Samsung: Apple Is Ordered to Turn over Recent Settlement Agreement with HTC to Samsung Despite HTC's Objections

November 30, 2012

After the recent global settlement between Apple and HTC, the terms of which Apple and HTC agreed to keep confidential, Samsung requested production of the agreement from Apple. Samsung moved to compel the production of the agreement.

Samsung sought discovery of the agreement with HTC to support its opposition to Apple's motion for a permanent injunction. Samsung asserted that the settlement agreement undermined Apple's assertion that an injunction is a more appropriate remedy than monetary damages. Apple responded by stating that it was willing to provide the settlement agreement but asserted that HTC objected to the production of the agreement because the agreement's financial terms had competitive value.

During the hearing, Samsung explained the reasons it needed the unredacted version of the settlement agreement. "Despite Samsung's assertions that consumers' willingness to pay a premium for patented features of a product is not relevant to a consumer demand inquiry, it argues that the degree Apple prevails on the contrary argument, the licensing fees with HTC are relevant to the degree of consumer demand for Apple's patented features."

HTC asserted in response that the probative value of the terms was outweighed by the risk to HTC from disclosure of the terms. The court was not persuaded. "Although the court is more than a little skeptical of Samsung's arguments regarding the financial terms, Rule 26 supplies a broad standard of relevance. 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. HTC is not entitled to special treatment, especially when it has recognized the general sufficiency of the protective order and the integrity of Samsung's outside counsel."

Accordingly, the court granted the motion to compel over HTC's objections.


Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., LTD, Case No. C 11-1846 LHK (PSG) (N.D. Cal. Nov. 21, 2012)

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