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IBM fails to stop Reuters from publishing a patent agreement with Samsung

The cat will get out of the bag
Tue Jul 31 2012, 11:19

ENTERPRISE VENDOR IBM has seen a motion denied to stop Reuters from publishing its patent licensing agreement with Samsung.

Reuters was provided with a document that details in full a patent licensing agreement between IBM and Samsung. IBM filed for an injunction against Reuters publishing the document, however the court denied the firm's motion leaving Reuters free to go ahead and publish the agreement.

IBM had claimed that Reuters fell under a protective order and thus should not be allowed to publish the document. Reuters disagreed (PDF) and said, "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 an injunction relates to the Apple versus Samsung smartphone patents trial, which has seen a number of firms try to keep documents sealed. As Groklaw points out, patent licensing deals are often announced in the vaguest possible terms, with firms like Microsoft not willing to give out any information on just how it snared so many Android device makers in its nets or how much, or little, they are paying it to avoid lengthy and expensive patents litigation.

At press time Reuters has yet to publish the details of IBM's license agreement with Samsung. µ


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