US District Court Judge Lucy Koh rejected requests today from both Apple and Samsung regarding the parties’ proposal to keep portions of key legal documents out of the public eye during their upcoming patent case in California this month.
If you’ve been following all the current pre-trial back and forth between Apple and Samsung in the Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, 11-1846 case, in which Apple has claimed Samsung is infringing on several patents, Samsung has counterclaimed similar infringement arguments, and Apple’s request for a temporary sales ban on the Samsung Nexus Phone has been accepted and enforced by the court.
You’ll also know that Judge Koh has been steadily, one might say doggedly, dealing with both parties, trying to keep the case as relevant, simple, and direct as possible.
In an order issued late tonight, July 17, Judge Koh wrote that “it appears that the parties have overdesignated confidential documents and are seeking to seal information that is not truly sealable.” She then gave Apple and Samsung one week to refile their requests for sealing, according to Reuters.
In addition, Judge Koh wrote that “only documents of exceptionally sensitive information that truly deserve protection will be allowed to be redacted or kept from the public.” In other words, make it count, Apple and Samsung.
Making specific legal documents makes sense if the companies are involved in an intellectual-property and patent infringement case, as both parties obviously want to keep any trade secrets or sensitive information from leaking out during a public trial.
The trial, scheduled for July 30, could possibly mean the permanent sales ban of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Nexus phone, if Apple prevails. Regardless of the outcome, the trial has taken on a larger, symbolic meaning, perhaps, as a reflection of the current – possibly outdated – software patenting system. Think of all the money and time Apple and Samsung could be spending on innovative activities, rather than layers,
guns, and money court fees and appearances.