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Thursday, 22 November 2012 10:09

Apple told to spill the beans over HTC deal

Written by Nick Farrell



Might scupper its chances of a ban


A judge has told Apple to hand over details of a secret deal between it and HTC at the request of Samsung.

US Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal agreed with Samsung that details of the settlement are “highly relevant” to Apple’s request for an order blocking sales of Samsung smartphones. Samsung lawyer Daryl Crone said that if the amount of the license were relatively small” for the patents at issue in the San Jose case it might demonstrate that “those particular features are insignificant to driving consumer demand.”

Also if Apple was prepared to license technology then it was not fair that it should try to get a rival's product banned.  Courts have a habit of not banning products if the licensee is prepared to allow some people access to its technology. Apple, which had accused HTC of copying features that made its iPhone unique, on Nov. 10 settled all global lawsuits with HTC and agreed to a 10-year licensing deal. Samsung claims the settlement details are important because the accord probably covers some of the patents at issue in the lawsuit between the two mobile phone giants.

Apple is seeking to block sales of Samsung smartphones that it alleges are covered by Apple patents, claiming it doesn’t license the patents to competitors and it can’t be compensated for alleged infringement through money damages, Samsung said in court filings.

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