back to article Judge orders probe over Samsung execs viewing secret Apple docs

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 …


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  1. William Donelson

    Yet another example of why the Republicans, corporations and the rich want smaller government...

    Same reason burglars want fewer police.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @asdf .. their american what ?

    2. LarsG

      Obvious this was going to happen wasn't it.

      Now let's get the legal process started......

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "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,"

      Which translates as, "we are deleting them as past as possible."

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Fandroids and Fanbois apart

    If the Samsung Lawyers did something they shouldn't have then they deserve a good kicking both where it hurts and financially.

    Lawyers are quick to spout 'client confidentially' but they also have a duty of care with information shown to them in confidence especially if a Judge has set the rules as to who can see it and those who can't.

    It does not take a lot to imagine the literal gold mine of information contained in a contract like this can be to Samsung. Their record is not that squeaky clean when it comes to slightly dodgy practices as the fines and censures they have received over the years.

    1. SuccessCase

      Re: Fandroids and Fanbois apart

      Allowing emails to be deleted, that were supposed to be protected under court order, so they could not be used in trial under at least two different cases, bribing govt officials in Korea, found guilty of men price fixing in the US, astro-turfing positive reviews of Samsung products, found guilty as part of EU memory price fixing cartel, shameless abuse of Standards essential patents, hired bloggers to write falsified reports of HTC phones continually crashing, cheating on benchmarking test.

      Overall a highly ethical company.

      1. Psyx

        Re: Fandroids and Fanbois apart

        "Overall a highly ethical company."

        And different from ANY other megacorp how?

        They're all as bad as each other, chap. It's just that some have the nerve to try to pretend otherwise.

        1. Armando 123

          Re: Fandroids and Fanbois apart

          "And different from ANY other megacorp how?"

          No. I've worked in situations that required some delicacy and most corporations do not condone this sort of thing. Even if you doubt their ethics, they mostly want to avoid situations like this.

        2. SuccessCase

          Re: Fandroids and Fanbois apart

          I disagree with the implication. The character of a corporation comes from the top and most directly the CEO. I've always found it notable that every organisation and every office, has it's own very distinct character culture and principles.

          1. SuccessCase

            Re: Fandroids and Fanbois apart

            Sorry Armando: the above was intended as a reply to Psyx's platitude above.

          2. ShadowedOne

            Re: Fandroids and Fanbois apart

            "...The character of a corporation comes from the top and most directly the CEO..."

            That would explain Apple then.

            “Picasso had a saying - 'good artists copy, great artists steal' - and we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

            ― Steve Jobs

    2. Armando 123

      Re: Fandroids and Fanbois apart

      Not only that, but if someone notices that people can access documents they shouldn't, they are required to notify the appropriate people, per a pre-defined protocol, as soon as possible.

      I've done work on military projects, other government contracts, HIPAA data, worked at a place which the FTC had required to be split into two companies for anti-trust reasons, and worked with firms pursuing lawsuits. While I don't know the specifics of the rules in this case, I do know enough to know that Samsung is in deep trouble. Judges and other legal authorities do not take kindly to protocol issues when they are unintentional. They tend to view you on how you react to such things. In Samsung's case, it looks like it was with full knowledge and that they are being uncooperative. They could be in for a long, expensive court battle.

  3. DAN*tastik

    I read that the bouncing patent was not valid somewhere, or something like that... If I understood correctly and that really is the case, they can't allow competition to get hold of the valuable algorithms that make it happen...

  4. Brian Miller 1

    Sounds like a biased judge

    If the judge has already decided that samsung is the fox and that apple is the chicken, then I would say that they will not receive a fair trial. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds like a biased judge

      They *are* guilty to sharing these confidential documents. They have admitted as much.

      All this is doing is finding out the extent of the guilt, and unsurprisingly, the judge wants some oversight of that.

      This is remarkibly sloppy by Samsung's lawyers, and could cost them a lot in the courtroom in the larger case. Which is annoying because i really want Samsung to win that.

    2. SuccessCase

      Re: Sounds like a biased judge

      You could conceivably be right but...

      1. They were found guilty of having done it before in a case before Apple. 2. There is a very long list of proven corporate malfeasance to their name (see above). 3. Their silence and non-responsiveness speaks volumes.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn, going after the lawyers. Reminds me of the old joke about the Borg and Microsoft, or that comment in the movie Jason x.

  6. An0n C0w4rd

    Clarification needed

    I read in a different article on this subject that Samsungs outside legal council did NOT share the confidential documents directly with Samsung. What happened was that the legal council hired some 3rd party to write a report on the confidential data, and did NOT mark the report as having the same level of confidentiality as the documents it was based on, despite directly quoting the source documents. It was this report that was shared with Samsung, allegedly.

    It would be good if someone could clearly state what happened, as there are several different versions of this story floating about and while it doesn't change the fact that data was shared with Samsung that should not have been shared, it might be human error (in not marking the report as confidential) rather than deliberately violating attorney privileges.

    However, there is no argument - Samsung should have known that they should not have had that data, and the fact they went on and allegedly used it in contract negotiations is highly indicative of the morals and character of Samsung executives.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is anyone genuinely surprised..?

    see here for past history...

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