Global electronics maker and seller Samsung has acquired an order from a US judge compelling computer-maker Apple to disclose details on its deal with HTC, a Chinese technology firm, which could have far-reaching implications for Apple’s argument that monetary damages are not enough.
The order follows a retrial request from Samsung after it was asked to pay Apple $1.05 billion for violating its software and design patents. In a motion filed by Samsung, the Korean firm wants Apple to reveal its deal with HTC, including its 10 years license agreement, saying i touches on patent issues part of the earlier case.
Samsung argues that Apple’s willingness to license the patents, if it turns out to be so in the HTC deal, shows that Apple’s argument could suffer irreparable harm if Samsung continued to sell its wares in the US was inadequate.
“Apple’s apparent willingness to license these patents supports Samsung’s argument that Apple cannot show irreparable harm because monetary damages are adequate,” Samsung said in the filing earlier in the week
If in favour of Samsung the findings would further water down Apple’s argument that license agreements were not enough to resolve the damage.
The emerging details could also change course of a hearing at Apple’s request for a permanent U.S ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and the Tab 10.1 tablet computer due to be heard next month.
According to analyst Andrew Milroy of Frost & Sullivan, during an interview with the BBC, it could mean the touchdown in the new round of legal tussles in Samsung’s favor.
“It is clearly a very smart move from Samsung – because the general feeling is that a lot of its patent disputes with Apple are very likely to be similar to those between HTC and Apple.If there are similarities, it gives Samsung an advantage in any future legal issues and negotiations with Apple,” he said.
Last month Apple was forced to publish on its US website that Samsung had not infringed on its designs after it lost an appeal of a ruling in the U.K that gave the latter’s designs a clean bill of health.