In a not-so surprise move today, Apple filed a proposal with the US District Court that is handling Monday’s trial between it and rival Samsung over possible patent infringements. The surprise move today is the fact that Samsung agrees with Apple.
Both companies have to submit documents as exhibits in the wide-ranging trial, scheduled for Monday, and each company would like to keep it’s sensitive business data private. The two tech industry leaders today came up with a proposal that, if accepted, will have them jointly submitting documents they would like redacted from the public.
“While the parties have yet to reach a final agreement that would eliminate the need to introduce exhibits that contain highly sensitive information, both Samsung and Apple are committed to negotiating in good faith to minimize the need for maintaining the confidentiality of trial exhibits and ensuring that the trial remains an open forum,” the two companies said in a joint filing on Friday, as reported by AllThingsD.
The filing today from Apple argued that the company had reduced the amount of private documents to only four briefs and around 30 specific documents. There are hundreds of these filed in total, so this is a small amount or the total. Apple argued that if these specific documents were made public, it would damage Apple’s reputation with the third-party business partners that do research for the iPhone maker. In addition, argued Apple, its business competitors would gain access to intelligence such as cost structures and profit margins, which it does not want to share.
Samsung has a similar set of sensitive information that it would like to keep private as well, so it makes sense that it, along with other companies apparently involved in the documentation, including Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Intel, would want to cooperate with Apple in this joint proposal. It’s sort of like a quid pro quo arrangement, in that if Apple would like to keep its own private documents from the prying eyes of reporters, then it will have to support Samsung’s claims to the same.
It’s a fascinating time to follow what some are calling the most important patent case in recent history. Stay tuned.