Trials & Litigation

Samsung and Quinn Emanuel must pay $2M for revealing 'attorneys’ eyes only' info, judge rules

  • Print.

A major law firm and its client must pay a patent litigation opponent more than $2 million in legal fees and costs, a federal judge in California has ruled.

The award covers the expense of litigating a sanctions motion and discovery dispute over the revelation of “attorneys’ eyes only” information in a big-bucks case. Patently Apple provides a link to the Friday opinion by U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal.

He decided in January to impose sanctions on Samsung Electronics Co. and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan over the revelation of patent licensing information and is now determining what constitutes reasonable attorney’s fees in the San Jose case. The bottom line in the latest ruling is that Samsung and Quinn must pay $1,145,027.95 to Nokia and another $893,825.77 to Apple within 30 days.

In his earlier opinion, Grewal said the dispute was sparked when “at some point in late March 2012, a junior associate working late one night failed to fully redact Apple’s confidential license terms from an expert report.” It was then distributed to Samsung officials, in violation of a protective order, and they reportedly tried to exploit the information in negotiations with Nokia.

Grewal gave short shrift to arguments by Quinn Emanuel that the sanctions should be reduced because Apple itself mistakenly failed to redact Nokia licensing information from a document publicly filed in October (not relevant in this matter, the judge said) and that the litigation by Apple and Nokia involved “unnecessary work” and achieved “limited success” (not true, the judge said).

However, he struck some expenses involving first-class air fare and travel to Korea as unnecessary and reduced by 20 percent a small number of billing entries that were “insufficiently detailed to allow anyone to evaluate their reasonableness.”

See also: “Judge sanctions Samsung and counsel over release of confidential info in big-bucks Apple patent suit”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.