The Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington has ruled today that Apple and Samsung are not required to publicly disclose their financial details, Reuters is reporting. With this ruling, the federal appeals panel has reversed a lower court ruling that ordered the two companies to disclose portions of documents that contain profit and sales information.
“We recognize the importance of protecting the public’s interest in judicial proceedings and of facilitating its understanding of those proceedings,” the 3-judge appeals panel decided. “That interest, however, does not extend to mere curiosity about the parties’ confidential information where that information is not central to a decision on the merits.”
Both technology giants have been waging a patents war against each other across the globe for the past 2 years, climaxing in a high-profile trial last year when a jury awarded Apple over $1 billion, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh later slashed the award and ordered a retrial on some of the damages.
Today’s U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling also reverses Koh’s earlier decision that Apple should disclose its financial particulars, as arguments alone were insufficient to establish the information as “trade secrets.”