There’s no love lost in the smartphone industry, where massive companies fight it out for even the smallest slivers of market share, but it looks like Samsung may have gone too far this time. The South Korean company is under the microscope for possibly spying on confidential patent deals after its legal council Dr. Seungho Ahn, admitted he knew the details of Nokia’s patent terms with Apple.
Full knowledge of the Nokia-Apple patent deal would certainly give Samsung leverage in its own patent negotiations, but considering that the documents were labeled “highly confidential,” it’s against the law for the Galaxy-maker to use the information to its own benefit. In response, the company essentially made things worse, noting that “such a violation can only occur willfully” with Ahn adding that “all information leaks.”
Samsung is now under order from U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S Grewal to release specific documents revealing the details of its own negotiations with Apple and provide testimony from Dr. Ahn. It’s still unclear how this will play out, but the company may be in serious trouble. Court documents have already revealed that Samsung’s employees had access to uncensored contracts between Apple and Ericsson, Sharp and Phillips as well.