Apple Inc has been ordered by a US judge to reveal the details of its legal settlement with HTC to arch rival Samsung Electronics. The South Korean mobile phone manufacturer had reportedly sought the details of the settlement with HTC earlier and had filed a motion to further it. Also included in the details sought are terms of a 10-year patents licensing agreement. A settlement between Cupertino-based Apple and Taiwan-based HTC had been reached upon only recently (November 10), the details of which were kept secretive.
Apple to show Samsung its settlement details
Legal experts have added that by knowing the specifics of the Apple-HTC settlement, and licensing details, Samsung's efforts to block Apple's efforts to install a permanent sales ban on its products will get a boost. Samsung opines that it is “almost certain” that Apple's deal with HTC covers some of the same patents involved in its own patent battle with Apple.
Apple was directed on Wednesday by the court to furnish a full copy of the settlement agreement “without delay”, subject to an Attorneys-Eyes-Only designation.
Reports citing court documents indicate that Samsung requested a California court to add three of Apple's newly released products — the iPod Touch 5, the iPad 4 and the iPad mini — to the existing list of devices that Samsung claims to have infringed on some of its patents.
Recently, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd was given a go-ahead by a US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, to put forth its claims that the Apple iPhone 5 violates its patents. The US judge also allowed Apple to go ahead with its claims that the Samsung Galaxy Note, Galaxy S III, and the Google-owned Android Jelly Bean operating system violate its patents. This development is the latest in what has been a longstanding patent battle involving Cupertino-based Apple Inc and brands manufacturing Android-running devices, Samsung being one of them. As per reports, both companies refused to comment.
Towards the end of October this year, a Tokyo District court rejected Samsung Electronics’ injunction request to implement a sales ban on the iPhone, according to the Asahi Shimbun. The court, in its verdict, noted that there has been no patent infringement by Apple’s unit in the country.
In its complaint, Samsung had alleged that Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S smartphones used its patented technology in Japan, pertaining to downloading an app to add new functions to a smartphone and the airplane mode, which turns off the phone's communications without powering it off during flight.
Interestingly, in a September 14 ruling, the court had stated that the iPhone's app technology is different from Samsung's. Only a couple prior, the court ruled that the iPhone did not infringe on the other Samsung patent in question, either. At the time, it ruled that the airplane mode function wasn’t a significantly new development, but an extension of past innovations.