Feeds

Judge orders probe over Samsung execs viewing secret Apple docs

Did legal team, fox, chickens break confidentiality rules?

High performance access to file storage

Samsung's patent battles with Apple has taken an unexpected turn: the Korean conglomerate has been ordered to cough up email records and witnesses so that the court can determine if its lawyers have been playing fast and loose with confidentiality.

According to a court filing on Wednesday, Apple disclosed a number of patent agreements with Nokia, Sharp, Philips, and Ericsson and other to lawyers at Samsung as part of its ongoing dispute over intellectual property.

All above board so far, but Samsung's external legal team was bound by law not to disclose these to Sammy itself. Instead, however, the legal eagles put them on an FTP server and as many as 50 employees had the opportunity to look them over, and in five cases Samsung executives might have been sent the documents directly by email.

This came to light during a meeting in June between Nokia's chief intellectual property officer Paul Melin and the head of Samsung's IP Center, Dr. Seungho Ahn, to discuss copyright issues. According to Nokia, Ahn told Finnish executives that he knew the terms of their deal with Apple, recited the exact details, and added the comment "all information leaks."

"It is possible that Dr. Ahn's encounter with Mr. Melin occurred very differently," wrote Magistrate Paul Grewal in the court filing. "Unfortunately, the court cannot say, because Samsung has elected not to provide the court with any sworn testimony from Dr. Ahn or anyone else at the meeting."

Grewal said that Samsung's response to questions about who saw what boils down to "we're working on it." Samsung says that it has hired a firm to check its server logs and see who accessed what documents, but that the investigators will not interview any of the company's executives or lawyers; the magistrate expressed his dissatisfaction with Samsung's plans.

"Letting Samsung and its counsel investigate this situation without any court supervision is unlikely to produce satisfactory results," Grewel wrote. "Rarely is the fox is permitted to investigate without supervision the disappearance of chickens at the henhouse."

Instead, he ruled, Samsung has until October 16 to turn over all emails relating to the case, as well bringing in Dr. Ahn to give testimony on the matter. Nokia will be allowed access to all of these documents as well, and on October 22 a new hearing will be held. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.