Samsung files redacted copy of Apple-HTC deal in U.S. court

Thu Dec 6, 2012 6:46am EST
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(Reuters) - Lawyers for Samsung Electronics Co Ltd filed a redacted copy of a 10-year patent licensing agreement between Apple Inc and Taiwan's HTC Corp in a U.S. court late on Wednesday following a judge's order.

The Korean electronics company had earlier filed a motion to compel Apple -- with which it is waging a bitter legal battle over mobile patents across several countries -- to reveal details of a settlement that was made with HTC on November 10 but which have been kept under wraps.

The court last month ordered Apple to disclose to Samsung details of the legal settlement that the iPhone maker reached with HTC, including terms of the 10-year patents licensing agreement.

Legal experts say the question of which patents are covered by the Apple-HTC settlement, and licensing details, could be instrumental in Samsung's efforts to thwart Apple's subsequent quest for a permanent sales ban on its products.

The redacted copy excludes key specifics such as the royalty payments HTC would have to make to Apple for using some of the U.S. company's patents. Also excluded are details of some of HTC's covered products that were part of the licensing deal.

The court order had stated that "only the pricing and royalty terms of license agreements may be sealed."

However, Samsung lawyers said in the filing that they had withheld a few other details of the licensing agreement as requested by Apple and HTC.

As per the Apple-HTC agreement, the licenses do not include Apple's design patents, according to a filing made with the District Court of Northern California.

Apple and HTC also agreed to fully paid-up, royalty-free, non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable licenses to certain of the other's patents.   Continued...

An Apple IPhone 4s and Samsung Galaxy S are seen in this illustration photo in Berlin August 27, 2012. REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski