Apple-HTC Court Settlement to Remain Unsealed

Monday night, US District Court Judge Lucy Koh said that Apple-HTC settlement documents must go unsealed.

Two weeks ago, US Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal granted Samsung’s motion forcing Apple to disclose the terms of their agreement with HTC. Apple tried to block it, but upon appeal the order has been upheld. Not everything will be revealed as the order from Judge Koh explains.

There are compelling reasons to seal pricing and royalty terms, as they may place the parties to the agreement at a disadvantage in future negotiations, but there is nothing in the remainder of the agreement that presents a sufficient risk of competitive harm to justify keeping it from the public. Accordingly, Apple’s motion to seal is GRANTED with regard to the pricing and royalty terms of the agreement only, and DENIED with regard to the rest of the agreement.

While we wont get to see who is paying who and how much. We will get to see what patents are being licensed. Which is what Samsung wanted. Apple uses a few utility patents, most notably the one on “rubber-banding” like they did against Samsung. If they licensed it or any other specific patents then Samsung could prove that they aren’t “vital” to Apple’s success.