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Motorola Mobility Wants Samsung Licensing Sealed in Apple Suit

Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility unit asked a judge to seal “highly confidential” records of its patent-licensing talks with Samsung Electronics Co. that appeared in the South Korean company’s intellectual property lawsuit against Apple Inc. in California.

The document at issue in a hearing today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, is a summary of a licensing negotiation between Motorola and Samsung that took place several weeks before the two companies reached a 2000 agreement, according to a court filing by Motorola Mobility. It was filed as an exhibit supporting Apple’s attempt to depose Samsung witnesses, according to the filing.

The document reveals a “pattern of financial offers” in the cellular cross-licensing negotiations and may reveal monetary terms, license rates, the direction of payments, names of licensed products and technologies, and the geographic scope of the deal, according to the filing. The information is “highly sensitive” because other firms could use it unfairly to gain leverage in their own negotiations with Motorola Mobility, the company said.

During negotiations for patent licenses, competitors “negotiate concerning the relative values of their respective patent portfolios as well as the values of other terms in the agreement,” according to the filing.

An Aug. 24 jury verdict in San Jose federal court in which Cupertino, California-based Apple won $1.05 billion in damages from Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung is part of a global fight for dominance in the $219 billion global smartphone market. The world’s two biggest makers of high-end phones have accused each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices and are waging patent battles on four continents.

Google is based in Mountain View, California.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11-cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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