Secrecy bids in Apple-Samsung patent lawsuit denied

Companies are trying to keep key portions of sensitive documents private, but Judge Koh rules their requests go too far.

A federal judge has rejected requests by Apple and Samsung to keep portions of sensitive company documents from being made public during their patent battle.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh for the Northern District of California ruled today that "it appears that the parties have overdesignated confidential documents and are seeking to seal information that is not truly sealable," according to a Reuters report. "Only documents of exceptionally sensitive information that truly deserve protection will be allowed to be redacted or kept from the public."

Koh gave each company one week to refile their requests.

Samsung said it was weighing its options.

"We are currently reviewing the court's decision, after which we will take appropriate measures that can include renewed motions to seal," the company told CNET.

CNET has also contacted Apple for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

The decision comes as the two companies march closer to the beginning of their high-stakes patent trial, due to begin July 30. Koh has tried pare down the case by getting the companies to resolve some of their differences out of court to present a more workable set of claims to a jury, otherwise she has warned the trial start date could be delayed.

This long-running legal confrontation began in April 2011 when Apple filed a lawsuit in California accusing Samsung of copying "the look and feel" of its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone. "Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smartphone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface, and innovative style in these infringing products," Apple complained.

Samsung quickly responded with a countersuit against Apple, taking the fight overseas to South Korea, Japan, and Germany.

 

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