Appeals court rules Apple, Samsung allowed to keep sales data secret
Friday, August 23, 2013 @ 4:37pm
| The Federal US Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court ruling that would've forced Apple and Samsung to disclose legal documents containing sales and profit data, Reuters reports. "We recognize the importance of protecting the public's interest in judicial proceedings and of facilitating its understanding of those proceedings," a three-judge panel states. "That interest, however, does not extend to mere curiosity about the parties' confidential information where that information is not central to a decision on the merits."
The request for the data was made by the First Amendment Coalition, an advocacy group. The documents in question were submitted in preparation for last year's 2012 Apple v. Samsung trial, in which Apple was initially awarded a $1.05 billion verdict. They were used to help calculate damages, but were redacted, and Reuters filed motions to have the documents unsealed.
The judge overseeing the lawsuit -- Lucy Koh -- shot down protests by Apple and Samsung, saying that public interest in the proceedings superseded the companies' desire to keep their financials hidden. In today's reversal, judge Sharon Prost argues that "While protecting the public's interest in access to the courts, we must remain mindful of the parties' right to access those same courts upon terms which will not unduly harm their competitive interest."