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Apple's request for sanctions against Samsung rejected by judge

Apple wanted Samsung Electronics sanctioned for leaking blocked evidence to the media in connection with the patent infringement trial involving the two firms.

August 04, 2012|By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
  • Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages, alleging that Samsung copied the look and function of its mobile devices, including the iPhone. Above, Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S, left, and Apple's iPhone 4 are displayed at a store in Seoul last year.
Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages, alleging that Samsung… (Ahn Young-joon, Associated…)

A federal judge Friday rejected a motion by Apple Inc. to sanction rival Samsung Electronics Co. for leaking blocked evidence to the media in connection with the patent infringement trial involving the two companies.

But U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh said there could be more investigation into Samsung's actions after the trial, according to Reuters, and added: "I will not let any theatrics or any sideshows distract us from what we are here to do."

Apple is seeking more than $2.5 billion in damages, alleging that Samsung copied the look and function of its mobile devices, including the iPhone.

The latest controversy stemmed from Samsung's decision Tuesday to send media outlets, including The Times, web links to evidence that had been blocked in court by Koh. Along with the links, Samsung sent a brief statement saying the excluded evidence "would have established beyond doubt" that Samsung did not copy Apple's iPhone. The statement ended: "Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence."

Koh quickly demanded an explanation from Samsung lawyer John Quinn, who submitted a five-page declaration Wednesday morning in which he said the company's actions were legal and ethical.

Apple's lawyers weren't satisfied. In a letter sent to Koh a few hours later, William F. Lee, a lawyer for the Cupertino, Calif., company, said Quinn's declaration failed to identify who wrote the statement and who released it.

"Samsung's multiple references to the jury in its statement make plain its intent that the jurors in our case learn of arguments the court has excluded through the press," Lee said. "This deliberate attempt to influence the trial with inadmissible evidence is both improper and unethical."

Apple went on to say it would file an emergency motion for sanctions "and other relief that may be appropriate." That motion, filed Thursday, asked Koh to rule that Apple's phone design patent claims were valid and infringed by Samsung.

The case, in a San Jose federal court, is expected to last about four weeks.

andrea.chang@latimes.com

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