AllThingsD reports, on Friday, the judge overseeing document handling the Apple-Samsung case said that Samsung’s outside lawyers violated an order. This order should have kept them from sharing any documents with Samsung.
In July, Nokia was the one to file a motion arguing that Samsung’s lawyers had breached the protective order designed to keep business agreements obtained for the case away from the company itself.
One month later, in August, Apple filed a motion asking for sanctions and the right to investigate how Samsung officials were able to get details about Apple’s licensing agreement with Nokia.
Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal said he has finished looking through “boxes and boxes” of Samsung documents in order to try and get to the bottom of this case.
In an order asking Samsung to explain why sanctions aren’t merited for the violation, Grewal said:
“Having finally crawled out from under the boxes, it appears to the undersigned that if anything was breached, it was this court’s protective order, and that sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted. Even after this exhaustive process, the court still does not have a complete picture of the events giving rise to this procedural flurry.”
Based on the evidence, it appears the Quinn Emanuel lawyers failed to censor confidential business information from an expert report. Also Samsung did not use the information correctly when preparing for negotiations with Nokia and Ericsson. Therefore, some sanctions appear warranted.
Samsung has until December 2 to make the case that their sanctions are not warranted. During this time, Apple and Nokia can file papers describing what they feel appropriate sanctions would be.