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Avatar of GI KoreaBy on May 8th, 2012 at 3:54 am

Samsung Refuses To Disclose Source Code Despite Court Order

Here is an update on the Samsung versus Apple patent infringement lawsuit:

Samsung Electronics, sanctioned by a U.S. judge for its failure to produce source code in a patent-infringement case in San Jose, California, won’t be able to use some evidence to defend itself against Apple Inc., a judge ruled.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal wrote in his May 4 ruling that Samsung “plainly violated” a court order requiring it to turn over code to Apple, and ruled that Samsung won’t be able to offer evidence in the case about its efforts to “design around” three patents at issue in the case.

In its lawsuit, Apple claims that Samsung’s 4G smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer infringe its patents. In December, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose ruled against Apple’s request to block Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung from selling that phone and tablet in the U.S. That order followed an Australian court ruling lifting an injunction on the tablet there.

Samsung, which was the world’s largest seller of smartphones last year, and Cupertino, California-based Apple have filed at least 30 lawsuits against each other on four continents since April 2011.

In his ruling, Grewal said producing source code in patent litigation is “disruptive, expensive, and fraught with monumental opportunities to screw up.” Still, under federal law there is no exception to the requirement, especially when a defendant in a patent suit challenges the opposition’s failure to analyze the accused product’s source code, the judge said.   [Korea Herald]

It seems to me that by Samsung not providing the source code for the legal authorities to compare to Apple’s source code is a sign that maybe they really did infringe on Apple’s patent.

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  • 코리
    2:53 am on May 8th, 2012 1

    The request wasn’t to turn source code over to the authorities to examine it, but directly to Apple to examine it. It’s something that each company pushes for in all software patent disputes (but almost never gets) not because they actually want it, but because they know the other company will refuse which hurts their legal position.
    Frankly it shows why standing patent law is absolutely useless in these modern disputes and given that he feels it’s “disruptive, expensive, and fraught with monumental opportunities to screw up.” why is issued the order in the first place. Obviously there are exceptions as multiple judges have dismissed calls for such disclosures on both sides in the past. I would guess Apple intentionally sought out a judge they believed would follow a stricter interpretation to their benefit.

  • 3:37 am on May 8th, 2012 2

    “is a sign that maybe they really did infringe on Apple’s patent.”

    A HUGE maybe. Sharing the core source code of the company’s flagship product is tantamount to sharing some of the company’s most important trade secrets. There’s a very dismal chance that any company would do that just to prove a point in petty patent wars even if it was innocent.

  • JoeC
    4:21 am on May 8th, 2012 3

    There is not enough specifics in the article to know exactly what the dispute is about, but I don’t see why turning over source code would be necessary.

    Source code is implementation level material that is usually copywrited but not something that is patented.

    If this is a patent violation case then at least one side, in this case — Apple, must have a publicly filed patent. That patent is usually a design level set of documents that outline how something can be done.

    If Samsung claims they have “design[ed] around” Apple’s patent, in other words, Samsung has their own unique design, then one should expect that Samsung would have filed a public patent on that so that other will know not to violate their design.

    All that should be necessary is to compare the designs in Apple’s patent to those in Samsung’s patent, if in fact Samsung had patented their “design around”.

  • JoeC
    4:24 am on May 8th, 2012 4

    correction: “so that other will know” -> “so that others will know”

  • tbonetylr
    6:37 am on May 8th, 2012 5

    Samsung + Epic Failure :shock:

  • Tom
    10:30 am on May 8th, 2012 6

    Epic failure is ROKDROP.COM.

    Who in his right mind would turn over their entire source code, a program design to their rivals?

    This only proves one thing to me, and it’s obvious. The judge is an American, in American court, Samsung has to turn over all their trade secrets to Apple, to prove a point? F*ck off!

    Biased American court for sure.

    Samsung is not dumb, and no, an “Epic failure” doesn’t have over $200 billion in market cap, Tbone.

    What a joke. :lol:

  • kushibo
    11:49 am on May 8th, 2012 7

    I agree with the commenters who say this refusal is by no means an acknowledgement of infringement by Samsung.

    No company in their right mind would want to hand over important work product to a major rival, and it sounds a lot like this was a ploy on Apple’s part to for Samsung to divulge sensitive technical data. Refusal to cooperate is by no means admission of anything.

  • Tom
    12:10 pm on May 8th, 2012 8

    This decision proves Samsung won’t get a fair justice in the US.

    It’s a shame Samsung didn’t charge Apple with patent violation in Korean courts. Why? Because they were afraid that if they won in Korea, Korea would be accused of being biased. So there was no benefit for Samsung.

  • Hamilton
    3:49 pm on May 8th, 2012 9

    #8 Samsung has already sued Apple in Korean courts Tom, facts are of no use to you at all.

    Samsung Electronics is suing Apple, claiming its rival violated its patent rights, days after Apple accused Samsung of “slavishly” copying designs of its iPad and iPhone.

    The patent lawsuits, filed in South Korea, Japan and Germany, involve infringement of up to five patents, Samsung said in a statement.”

  • tbonetylr
    4:11 pm on May 8th, 2012 10

    The 55th Death from Samsung – Lee Yunjeong(female, age 32) died from brain cancer on May 7th.

  • Tom
    7:15 pm on May 8th, 2012 11

    All these workers wear white suits and masks. Just because some of the 50,000 Samsung workers in South Korea have died of cancer doesn’t mean a hill of beans. How many IBM workers have died of cancer in the last 10 years?

    And what about Apple? Apple have killed so many human lives, but it doesn’t count to Americans like you, because the workers are Chinese. Yet look how many iPhones and iPads are being bought by you guys. You guys are hypocrites. :lol:

  • Tom
    7:38 pm on May 8th, 2012 12

    Apple is getting desperate, but they may win anyway, because the American court is biased.

    Samsung owes us “billions” :lol:

    So why is Samsung the only one getting sued for rectangle shape, rounded edges, and a button in the middle? :roll: So how come there are so many brand name cars on the road which look like other brands? Why are they allowed to get away with design patent violations?

    Maybe they should go after Google, they’re the ones who own Android O/S, not Samsung.

  • Tom
    7:58 pm on May 8th, 2012 13

    Read this. Why the new Samsung GSIII is ugly?
    Because it was designed by Samsung lawyers not to violate Apple’s square/rounded edged patents.

    Amusing read, but the evidence is overwhelming that Samsung has done everything they can to avoid Apple patents on design.

    Absolute f*cking Goons, those Apple people.


  • Jimbob
    5:16 am on May 9th, 2012 14

    Tom, you’re so full of shit it’s coming out your ears.

    Koreans have been stealing ideas from other countries for years – they’re notorious for it. Look at the ROKMC uniforms, colors, and logo, for example… I have several more examples of military copy-catting that I’d love to share with you…but let’s stick to technology:

    Look at the Samsung 7 Series laptop ( looks an awful lot like a Macbook to me (aluminum finish, keyboard, overall form factor, even the little groove for your thumb to open open the screen).

    Or, what about the Samsung Bada platform? ( sure looks an awful lot like Google’s Android OS. It is even written in the same programming languages and it’s developer interfaces are almost identical to that of Android (and this is coming from a programmer).

    Or take a look at LG’s All-in-one PC ( looks awfully similar to Apple’s 27″ iMac doesn’t it?

  • a-letheia
    7:28 am on May 9th, 2012 15

    Tom doth protest too much, methinks …

  • tbonetylr
    7:05 am on May 11th, 2012 16

    South Korea: Youtube Video Accusing Samsung of Labor Workers Death
    “While Apple factory workers’ suicides are widely known, not enough data on Samsung’s labor workers is available online. A Youtube user posted a video entitled “Samsung’s Truth” with English subtitles explaining how labor workers suffered under the biggest corporations in South Korea.”
    Samsung’s Truth.avi!

    “Samsung apparently fudging facts of worker illnesses”
    “Samsung apparently fudging facts of worker illnesses
    Questions over impartiality of Environ, a firm hired by Samsung to assess worker safety”

  • Glans
    3:20 pm on May 11th, 2012 17

    Tom, if China or North Korea infringes a South Korean patent, you’ll defend South Korea, won’t you?

  • kushibo
    8:22 pm on May 11th, 2012 18

    I realize the story here is about the innards of the devices, but HP said something about its own products’ similarities to Apple’s that has some relevance to Samsung’s and Apple’s on-going frenemy feud over form factors:

    According to Engadget, HP design chief Stacy Wolff said that any similarities between the new laptops and Apple’s Air do not simply copy Apple.

    “Apple may like to think that they own silver, but they don’t,” Wolff said.

    He added in a later interview with the Web site that although various tech products often have similar designs, those are largely a function of the technology.

    “[Sometimes] the wedge is the right solution, silver is the right solution,” he said. “I see a lot of differences as much as the similarities.”

    Even within Apple itself, the same thing applies. When the iPad3 came out, some people were disappointed with it looking pretty much the same as the iPad2. But come on, how different can you really make it on the outside? It’s a flat tablet to be held in the hand, and that not only limits things in terms of changes, but it also tends to concentrate specs from different makers into the same narrow spectrum of form possibilities.


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