Legal Technology

Cut-and-Paste Reveals Redacted Info on Apple Smartphone Market in Federal Judge's Opinion


A federal judge’s opinion in Apple’s patent infringement suit against Samsung Electronics was formatted in a way that exposed redacted information.

The mistaken revelation in the opinion issued Friday by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh discussed Apple studies showing its customers are unlikely to switch to Samsung’s Android devices, Reuters reports. The redacted portions also included some details on Apple’s licensing deals with Nokia and IBM.

The redacted material was revealed when the opinion, released in PDF format, was cut and pasted into another document. According to Reuters, the redactions reveal courts’ predilection to seal materials in intellectual property cases. The story quotes Emory law professor Timothy Holbrook, who said he didn’t see any apparent trade secrets in the redactions. “Most of it just seems like it was sealed out of an abundance of caution,” he said.

Koh’s opinion denied Apple’s request for a preliminary injunction in its suit claiming Samsung’s Galaxy products infringe patents for the iPhone and iPad. The opinion revealing the information was sealed and a new version was posted about four hours later.

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