Apple is being forced to reveal to the world one if not its biggest secret: how much profit the company makes on each iPhone.
Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court of San Jose has ordered Apple to bare product-specific (read: iPhone-specific, iPad-specific, etc.) information including profit margin.
That’s telling the company to say exactly how profitable the iPhone is per unit.
In a filing on Wednesday, Judge Koh denied Apple’s motion to seal or redact certain information from its Damages motion.
Just as before, Apple argued that this set of information is considered a “trade secret” which, if revealed, will harm them because competitors will get an advantage.
Below is the significant part of the filing made by the judge. You can look at the highlighted parts but we enjoin you to read it in full:
“C. Confidential Financial Information
Finally, Apple seeks to redact product-specific unit sales, revenue, profit, profit margin, and cost data from its Damages Motion, as well as from the Robinson Declaration and Exhibit 8 to the Robinson Declaration. As this Court explained in the August 9 Order, Apple has not established that public availability of its product-specific unit sales, revenue, profit, profit margin, and cost data would actually provide its competitors with an advantage, as would be required to find the information sealable under the “compelling reasons” standard. August 9 Order at 5-6.
In seeking the very large damages award it sought at trial, Apple stipulated to the introduction of JX1500, a partial summary of its damages calculations, which contains some product-specific unit sales and revenue information. See ECF No. 1597. As Apple appears to have realized in introducing that exhibit, it cannot both use its financial data to seek multi-billion dollar damages and insist on keeping it secret.
Further, this Court previously found that the financial information was essential to Apple’s damages calculations, thus increasing the public’s interest in access. August 9 Order at 6. Apple’s present Damages Motion also requires detailed financial analysis, and the public’s interest in accessing Apple’s financial information is now perhaps even greater than it was at trial. Apple’s motion seeks to permanently enjoin the sale of 26 Samsung products that have already been on the market for varying lengths of time, and seeks an enhancement of $535 million on top of the $1.05 billion in damages awarded by the jury. Such remedies would have a profound effect on the smartphone industry, consumers, and the public. As the extensive media coverage indicates, this is a truly extraordinary case of exceptional interest to the public. Apple’s reasons would have to be very compelling indeed to overcome the unusually robust public interest in access.
Beyond continuing to assert that its financial data are ‘trade secrets,’ Apple has not provided any new arguments for why this information should be protected. Accordingly, consistent with the August 9 Order, this Court finds that Apple’s unit sales, revenue, profit, profit margin, and cost data do not meet the ‘compelling reasons’ standard. Apple’s motion to seal is DENIED as to the proposed redactions on page 27 of the Damages Motion, page 9 of the Robinson Declaration, and Exhibit 8 to the Robinson Declaration. For the reasons explained below, this denial is without prejudice.” [Emphasis added.]
Apple won a landmark $1.05-billion damages award in August as the jury sided against Samsung in their court battle in California.
After the verdict, Apple filed for more damages wanting $3 billion from Samsung because of the jury’s decision.
However, Apple has not been as successful in other courts. For example, a judge in the UK ruled that Samsung tablets do not infringe on patents on the iPad.
Nonetheless, that judge said that the Samsung tablets were not infringing because they are not as cool as the iPad.
Apple, however, was ordered to run ads in magazines and newspapers essentially to tell people that Samsung did not copy from us.