Samsung Bid for Apple’s HTC Settlement Reviewed by Judge

Samsung Electronics Co.’s request to force Apple Inc. to reveal the details of its settlement with HTC Corp., including the financial terms, was heard by a judge in federal court in San Jose, California.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal reviewed Samsung’s argument that details of the settlement are “highly relevant” to Apple’s request for an order blocking sales of Samsung smartphones. Grewal said he won’t rule today.

Apple said in a court filing that HTC is willing to provide a copy of the accord with the financial terms redacted, which Samsung opposes.

“The un-redacted version should be produced because the financial terms” of the agreement are relevant to Apple’s request for an injunction, Samsung lawyer Daryl Crone told Grewal by phone in court today. “If the amount of the license were relatively small” for the patents at issue in the San Jose case it might demonstrate that “those particular features are insignificant to driving consumer demand.”

Licensing Deal

Apple, which had accused HTC of copying features that made its iPhone unique, on Nov. 10 settled all global lawsuits with HTC and agreed to a 10-year licensing deal. Samsung claims the settlement details are important because the accord probably covers some of the patents at issue in the lawsuit between the two mobile phone giants.

Apple is seeking to block sales of Samsung smartphones that it alleges are covered by Apple patents, claiming it doesn’t license the patents to competitors and it can’t be compensated for alleged infringement through money damages, Samsung said in court filings.

“To the contrary, Apple’s apparent willingness to license these patents supports Samsung’s argument that Apple cannot show irreparable harm because monetary damages are adequate,” lawyers for Samsung wrote in court filings.

Apple won a $1.05 billion patent-infringement verdict in August in a jury trial against Samsung in San Jose. U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh scheduled a Dec. 6 hearing for Apple’s bid for a permanent U.S. sales ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and the Tab 10.1 tablet computer. She will also consider Samsung’s bid to get the verdict thrown out based on claims of juror misconduct.

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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