Apple Moves To Bar Key Samsung Executives From Licensing Negotiations

Apple is looking to bar Samsung executives with knowledge of leaked confidential information from negotiating any mobile device licenses for the next two years.The U.S. District Court is currently considering imposing sanctions against Samsung and its lawyers due to concerns that the company’s law firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, may have shared confidential information from Apple with Samsung — including information about Apple’s patent licensing agreements with Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp and Philips, which was marked as viewable only by attorneys.

The issue arose following a testimony in June in which Nokia’s chief intellectual property officer, Paul Melin, claimed that Samsung executive Seungho Ahn told him during a license negotiation meeting that he knew the terms of Nokia’s licensing agreement with Apple — and went on to recite the terms to prove his point.
On further investigation, it was discovered that key terms of the four patent license agreements were contained in a draft report concerning damages that was forwarded to Samsung without any confidential information being redacted.Apple had provided the information to Samsung’s law firm during the discovery phase of the lawsuit, in which Apple was awarded damages of $1.05 billion last year — although these were later reduced to around $930 million in a retrial last month.In a filing made late on Monday, Apple has asked the court to prohibit Ahn and other Samsung executives who obtained the confidential information from negotiating any mobile device licenses for Samsung for a period of two years.

Apple also wants the court to prohibit Samsung’s law firm from executing any new protective orders under which it would receive Apple confidential information, and further asks the court to reprimand both the law firm and Samsung itself.