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Judge Koh Says Apple-HTC Patent Settlement Details Will Not Be Sealed

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Back in November Apple and HTC announced a settlement to its ongoing patent disputes, working out a 10 year licensing agreement. Samsung’s lawyers wanted to see the details of the settlement and Apple and HTC agreed to show a redacted version of leaving out pricing and royalty rates.

Eventually U.S. court Judge Paul Grewal granted Samsung access to the full unredacted settlement agreement, with an ‘Attoneys-Eyes-Only’ designation.

Now, according to CNET, Judge Judy Koh has stated the entire Apple-HTC settlement will not be sealed (except for pricing and royalty rates) which mean it could make its way into public view:

“This Court has repeatedly explained that only the pricing and royalty terms of license agreements may be sealed,” Koh wrote in a ruling. “There are compelling reasons to seal pricing and royalty terms, as they may place the parties to the agreement at a disadvantage in future negotiations, but there is nothing in the remainder of the agreement that presents a sufficient risk of competitive harm to justify keeping it from the public.”

[…]

“The Court has just explained that the only sealable terms of the license agreement are the payment and royalty terms. Thus, the list of patents covered by the agreement does not meet the ‘compelling reasons’ standard,” Koh wrote.

If this ever makes it into the public view, it will be interesting to know if Apple included its ‘user experience’ patents which it previously had stated it would not license.

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