The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website] ruled on Friday that Samsung [corporate website] and Apple [corporate website] do not have to publicly disclose financial details submitted during the patent litigation between the two companies. The court's opinion reversed [Reuters report] a ruling by the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] which required the companies to disclose certain financial details including profit and sales information. Friday's opinion was based on the perspective that public requests for disclosure are outweighed by the company's need for confidentiality when the information is not crucial to a judicial ruling. Apple and Samsung have remained silent about the effect of the ruling.
Apple has been involved in a protracted patent litigation battle [JURIST op-ed] with Samsung that spans over four continents. Earlier this month the International Trade Commission (ITC) [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Samsung infringed two patents of Apple. The two companies have been engaged in patent litigation since 2010, each filing lawsuits against the other over the design and functionality of their devices. Earlier this month, the Obama administration overturned [JURIST report] a US trade panel ban on the sale of older iPads and iPhones. In June the Tokyo District Court ruled for Apple [JURIST report] in a patent infringement suit. Similarly in March a UK court also ruled for Apple permitting continued use of technology [JURIST report] that allows transfers of information over the third-generation networks that are used by smartphones. In January a Dutch court ruled that the designs of some Galaxy Tab models produced by Samsung do not infringe designs patented by Apple [JURIST report].