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Apple ordered to open its books on iPhone, iPad profits

'Show us the money' says Judge Koh

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The judge in the ongoing Apple versus Samsung patent trial has ruled that Cupertino must disclose financial information on the profitability of its iPad and iPhone lines so that proper damages can be assessed.

Apple won the initial stage of its trial against Samsung over the Korean manufacturer's infringement of Cupertino's patents, and was awarded damages of $1.05bn, although Cook's crew had initially asked for $2.5bn based on claimed losses to the world's most valuable company (by current stock valuations at least.)

But Apple has never really given hard data on how much money it makes from these specific lines. It files quarterly reports like all public companies, but doesn't break down the figures very far. Now Judge Koh has ordered them to release financial data so that proper damages can be assessed.

"Apple's motion seeks to permanently enjoin the sale of 26 Samsung products that have already been on the market for varying lengths of time, and seeks an enhancement of $535 million on top of the $1.05 billion in damages awarded by the jury," Judge Koh said in her latest motion.

"Such remedies would have a profound effect on the smartphone industry, consumers, and the public," she wrote. "As the extensive media coverage indicates, this is a truly extraordinary case of exceptional interest to the public. Apple's reasons would have to be very compelling indeed to overcome the unsually robust public interest in access."

Koh has been accused by some as leaning towards Apple's side in the case, allowing preliminary injunctions against Samsung's Nexus phones and Galaxy fondleslabs before the case was even heard. But on the disclosure issue, she ruled that Apple would have to show its figures as early as August, although this was put on hold until this current motion.

Even now, Apple's accounting department won't have to hand over the data quite yet. Cupertino is appealing the motion and Judge Koh allowed the company to keep the figures to itself until the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rules on the matter.

Samsung still hasn't stopped fighting from its corner, either. Earlier this month the company filed a motion requesting a retrial on the grounds that the jury foreman Velvin Hoga lied in court about his involvement in patent disputes and misled the jury as to the nature of patent law. Judge Koh is expected to rule on that matter by the end of the year. ®

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