Judge orders Apple to reveal Australian carrier contracts to Samsung

“Apple needs to produce agreements it has with Vodafone Group Plc, SingTel Optus Ltd. and Telstra Corp., should the Cupertino, California-based company fail to agree on an assertion in Samsung’s patent lawsuit that the carriers are contractually obliged to subsidize iPhone sales, Australia Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett ordered today,” Joe Schneider reports for Bloomberg.

“Samsung sued Apple in Australia, claiming the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 infringe its patents and is seeking a ban on the sale of the devices in the country. Bennett ruled the contracts with the phone operators are relevant to Samsung’s case. Apple said it would oppose the disclosure and suggested it was a speculative effort to find damaging information,” Schneider reports. “‘We will resist any attempts by our friends to push us into a corner’ on the subsidies, Apple’s lawyer Andrew Fox told the judge. ‘This is quite clearly a fishing expedition.'”

Schneider reports, “The Samsung lawsuit, filed Sept. 19, was in response to Apple’s request for a court order barring the sale of the Galaxy Tablet 10.1 in Australia, claiming the device infringed Apple’s patents. Bennett granted Apple’s request for an injunction on Oct. 13… In the Australian suit, Samsung also sought the source code for the iPhone 4S firmware to support its case that Apple infringes its patents for wireless transmissions. Apple has turned over 220 pages of documents relating to the source code, Fox said… Bennett deferred judgment on Samsung’s request for the additional source-code material and said she would deal with it on Nov. 11, if the two sides can’t reach an agreement in the meantime.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: FRAND. Also, why would Apple be averse to agreeing that carriers are contractually obliged to subsidize iPhone sales, especially if doing so means having to hand over their carrier agreements to the serial slavish copier, Samsung?

Boycott Samsung. We no longer buy Samsung-branded products and advise our millions of readers worldwide to also avoid purchasing Samsung-branded products until they cease stealing Apple’s patented IP.

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Edward Weber” for the heads up.]

21 Comments

  1. It’s a fishing expedition. Samsung is looking for any language that they can use, in those contracts, to prove that Apple is somehow stifling competition.

    I vaguely recall that they were proposing that this is a type of zero-sum game when it came to subsidies. The notion is that if Apple gets $400 in subsidies, there is less left to subsidize Samsung phones, or some other silly notion like that.

  2. I was going to start boycotting Samsung products, but an inventory of the myriad electronic devices in our home and my office found zero Samsung logos. I was already unintentionally avoiding them, but now it’s on purpose.

  3. I’m a bit unsure on how this can happen. Aren’t source codes for operating systems or apps property of the owners? Is that legal to allow a competitor to see source codes? I’m not an IP lawyer so I’m completely mystified by this decision from the Australian judge.

  4. “Bennett ruled the contracts with the phone operators are relevant to Samsung’s case.” <–No

    “‘This is quite clearly a fishing expedition.’” <–Yes

    Sounds like Judge Bennett’s pocket is jingling to me.

    Samsung: You are soooo screwed. But please continue the dum-dum show. It’s highly entertaining to watch how desperately you contort yourselves to find a legal point.

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