IBM’s motion to prevent Reuters from publishing its patent licensing agreement with Samsung has been denied.
IBM filed for a sanction against Reuters on its attempt to publish a document containing full details regarding the firm and Samsung’s patent licensing agreement. The papers were handed over to the media giant, but were eventually denied by the court, legally allowing Reuters to proceed with its intentions on publishing the agreement without restrictions.
IBM had released a statement saying that Reuters was legally constrained under a protective order, providing a reason not to publish the document.
However, the news agency opposed the given statement (PDF) and replied, “IBM’s counsel sent the licensing agreement to counsel in this case. Among the papers IBM sent was a copy of the unredacted version of the license agreement. While IBM contends that Reuters, as an intervenor to this litigation, is bound by a protective order, Reuters intervened in this litigation on July 17 for the sole purpose of opposing motions to seal, and Reuters’ counsel never signed any protective order. Indeed, it would be passing strange if a party which intervened for the sole purpose of opposing sealing could be bound to a protective order whose sole purpose was to make it easier to seal documents.”
IBM’s motion for a sanction is initiated by an observation to several firms, who legally keep their official documents closed. The firm has also treated the Apple versus Samsung smartphone patent infringement trials as an example.
According to Groklaw, patent licensing agreements are considered as confidential documents and must only be disclosed to appropriate individuals, thus, these are often publicized in the most ambiguous ways as possible.
The winning party, Reuters, is scheduled to publish the particulars behind IBM’s license agreement with Samsung at press time.
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