A judge has advised Samsung to prepare its defense after determining that the South Korean company probably violated a court order by leaking confidential Apple documents.
Apple provided Samsung with copies of its patent agreements with Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp, and Philips as part of the massive patent battle between the two that started last summer, but it seems the company ignored the protective order that said the information could only be used in the context of that case.
Samsung instead shared the documents with 90 employees and 130 unauthorized lawyers in an effort to gain an uncompetitive advantage against Apple, leading Judge Paul Grewel to deem that “sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted.”
Samsung admits that the order was not followed and that it did share the information, but insists it was an “inadvertent disclosure” that it “deeply regrets.”
Nokia has taken Apple’s side and joined its motion for sanctions. Paul Melin, the Finnish firm’s chief intellectual property officer, claims Samsung tried to use the company’s licensing agreement with Apple as leverage for a licensing deal between Nokia and Samsung.
The Verge reports that Judge Grewel has told Apple and Nokia to present their recommendations for punishment, while Samsung was advised to prepare its defense. A hearing will take place on December 9.