Judge’s sanction for Samsung’s leak of Apple secrets: Public shaming

“U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal was furious,” Phillip Elmer-Dewitt reports for Fortune.

“Details of a patent licensing agreement between Apple (AAPL) and Nokia (NOK) that were turned over to Samsung’s outside counsel with an agreement — protected by court order — that they would absolutely, positively never be seen by Samsung itself — turned up in the hands of a Samsung licensing executive who told a shocked Nokia executive: ‘all information leaks,'” P.E.D. reports. “‘A casual observer might reasonably wonder,’ Judge Grewal wrote in October, ‘what magic a protective order works that allows outside counsel access to confidential information to advance the case without countenancing untoward uses by the client.”

“The answer is not a magical one at all: confidential information remains confidential because counsel and clients alike follow court orders. If parties breach this basic rule, the court’s assurances become meaningless,'” P.E.D. reports. “Apple and Nokia had demand tough sanctions against Samsung and its outside counsel, Quinn Emanuel, Grewel on Wednesday delivered his answer: His ‘public findings of wrongdoing’ — plus court costs — would be ‘sufficient both to remedy Apple and Nokia’s harm and to discourage similar conduct in the future.'”

“To the judge, in his court room, a public finding of wrongdoing probably seems like a big deal. Outside the court, where most people live, his admonishment is likely to get lost,” P.E.D. reports. “So in the spirit of Judge Grewal’s order — to ‘discourage similar conduct in the future’ — I’ve reposted below a partial record of Samsung extra legal activities…”

Read more about what an awful company Samsung really is here.

MacDailyNews Take: This would work great… if Samsung and the criminals running it were capable of feeling shame.

Related articles:
Apple and Nokia propose sanctions against Samsung and its lawyers over Patentgate – December 3, 2013
Judge considers sanctions against Samsung, lawyers in dispute with Apple – November 11, 2013
Patentgate: Judge now feels sanctions against Samsung and its lawyers are warranted – November 9, 2013
Australian federal judge losing patience with Samsung over Patentgate affair – October 28, 2013
U.S. District Judge Koh denies Samsung motions, finds Apple licensing disclosures ‘improper,’ cover-up ‘inexcusable’ – October 16, 2013
Sanctions loom large: Samsung may have spied on sealed Apple-Nokia documents to aid patent deals – October 3, 2013

29 Comments

    1. You can’t use public shame to punish a company when the public doesn’t pay attention to long, boring, contractual/patent/highly technical court cases.

      Now forcing Samsung to add a ticker message to all of their advertisements and stickers on all of their phones, including display models, that publicize their actions may actually raise awareness somewhat.

      The best course of action by the judge would have been large monetary sanctions that equal or exceed the profits the company gained in its illegal undertaking. That is the only type of shame most companies understand.

    1. Agree – this article is a joke. Samsung outside council did something illegal and you’re blaming Samsung.
      Pretty pathetic that this is the best you’ve got to ‘shame’ a company.

    1. Well, that was the point of producing the list, wasn’t it? To show that even though Samsung has a history of this kind of behavior, the judge merely let them off with a slap on the hand.

      This just further gives evidence to Samsung that they can continue to do these things in the U.S. without having to face any real consequences.

      This is just one more thing to add to the list.

    2. This ruling should not be to lay the groundwork for future punishment the next time Samsung violates a court order, it should have been punished right now.

      Public shaming? There is no deterrent to Samsung to change its behavior. In fact, this ruling will prove to Samsung that its illegal activities have no real consequences beyond some attorneys’ fees, which are dwarfed by the profits it can obtain by lying, cheating, and stealing.

  1. Even better, I just read in an investment rag what great “strategy” Samsung follows and develops! How about publicly shaming all of the people who are buying Samdung’s stolen property?

  2. Next time Apple are asked by a court to hand over such documents they should insist on an agreed bond value that is paid as damages should the information ‘leak’ thereafter.

    This case certainly sets a precedence in respect to Samdung.

  3. Yea. Just like in the mid 90s when Microsoft settled on a case of monopoly abuse by having two sets of APIs in Windows (a very optimized/fast set for Microsoft’s own products, e.g., MS Office apps and a much slower set for the rest of the world thus using the Windows OS dominance to extend the customer base of MS Office, etc.). Microsoft’s penalty for doing so? “We promise to never do such a thing again!”

    Then a few years later they were convicted of monopoly abuse for using the Windows OS dominance to extend the reach of Internet Explorer by folding IE into the OS rather than having it be a piece of software that is on top of the OS — and then claiming that removing IE would cripple Windows. Microsoft’s penalty? “We know we said this before, but please believe us this time. We will not do such a thing again!”

    I expect the same thing to happen with this “public shaming”. The lawyers involved will just very convincingly proclaim to the judge that they will never do such a thing again.

    And just for the record, Quinn Emanuel is not a Korean law firm. They’re a U.S. law firm. I would not be surprised if none of Quinn Emanuel’s lawyers on the case were Korean or even of Korean decent.

    I’ve had dealings with them in the past. (They represented the other side in three lawsuits in which I was a witness.) While most lawyers have poor ethics, IMHO, those from Quinn Emanuel seem to have absolutely none. In fact, in one of those cases in which I was involved, the judge sanctioned each of Quinn Emanuel’s lawyers involved in the case $5,000 for inappropriate actions during the trial.

    If such small monetary sanctions didn’t (and still don’t) curb Quinn Emanuel’s lawyers, how does ANYONE think that a public shaming will do anything at all to change their actions? It’s just pure lunacy on judge Grewel’s part.

  4. Shamedung are just unbelevable! People should go to prison for this sort of thing.

    But as people preciously stated, you can’t shame or punish a company that just don’t give a shit.

    Regardless of the punishment they will just do it again, there isn’t a punishment bad enough for a company like shitslung and screwble.

  5. Yeah, they used to put people in the stocks to shame them.

    At least, in those days the population could throw vegetables at them.

    Judges should be tested every year for stupidity.

    1. So the crux of the judge’s decision to not financially sanction Quinn Emanuel or Samsung is because neither Apple nor Nokia could absolutely *prove* that the information had been improperly *used*? Other than just angering the judge, this judge believes there should be no consequences for blatantly violating the court’s orders?

      How many of you have sat in a negotiation and wondered what the other party knows or does not know about the your true needs and limits? If the other party already knows the limits of your negotiations (from inside knowledge about prior outcomes of your negotiations with other parties) they already have a benchmark through which they can control the interactions.

      It is virtually impossible to prove any party used this information unless they blatantly state: “You gave company XYZ deal such and such. We demand a better deal than that.”

      It is uncontested fact that one of the negotiators on Samsung’s side in the negotiations with Nokia knew inappropriate information on Apple’s and Nokia’s dealings. Is this idiot judge really assuming that this negotiator did NOT utilize that information simply because neither Apple nor Nokia can provide absolute proof that he did so?

      The party with the inside knowledge knows what you’ll do if pressed. They can just keep hammering away until they get the same or better deal. And, in this situation there’s no “proof” Samsung used the inside information. But only an idiot would believe they didn’t.

      1. Excellent post Shadowself, in fact from Florian’s article it looks like there is no “public shaming” sanction (i.e. a public apology via the media), only a reimbursement to “Apple, Nokia, and their counsel for any and all costs and fees incurred in litigating this motion and the discovery associated with it,”

        Not much of a slap on the wrist. The challenge is always providing the proof. At any rate, this is a small bump. Let’s hope Koh gets her act together on the rest of the case.

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