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Disclosure could give Samsung leverage when bargaining with Apple, help it stay ahead

When it comes to sales only one Android OEM has passed Apple, Inc. (AAPL) in U.S. sales.  In fact, Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) has left Apple far behind in sales; in some quarters its top handset outsold Apple's only handset (the iPhone).  Meanwhile Samsung is the only Android OEM to be strongly profitable, although it still trails the lower volume Apple in profits.

Given that state of affairs, it perhaps makes a bit more sense why Samsung has been Apple's number one target in court.  So far Apple and Samsung are one and one.  In the UK Apple lost a major case to Samsung and was forced to print an apology ad; meanwhile in the U.S. a jury went the opposite way finding Samsung guilty of $1.05B USD in "willful infringement" (that case is being appealed).

Now even as Apple and Samsung lock horns for a second trialU.S. District Court for the Northern District of California's San Jose courtroom Judge Paul S. Grewal has made a key ruling which may give Samsung leverage at the bargaining table.  In a court order on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Judge Grewal ordered [PDF] that Apple had to disclose the terms of its intellectual property cross-licensing agreement with HTC Corp. (TPE:2498).

Apple v. Samsung
Apple will have to give fiscal details of its licensing agreement with HTC to Samsung.
[Image Source: Gizmodo]

Apple and HTC settled up earlier this month, with Apple reportedly getting less than half what Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) gets in Android licensing fees.  The licensing deal is set to last for 10 years.

The Cupertino company, despite having a stacked, high-power litigation team likely settled with HTC in part because HTC is struggling in sales and isn't much of a threat.  Now it may regret cutting a relatively reasonable deal with the Asian OEM, as it may look unfair and uncooperative to the judge and jury, should it reject a similar statement by Samsung.

According to reports while Microsoft squeezed only $10 USD per handset from HTC, it gets 50 percent more -- roughly $15 USD per handset -- from Samsung.

The document in question has been labeled "Attorneys-Eyes-Only", so it is unlikely the media will get their hands on the exact licensing details; particularly after Samsung was already admonished in the last round for allegedly leaking Apple court filings to the press.

An injunction hearing will be held on Dec. 6, at which point a California district judge will decide on whether to temporarily ban U.S. sales of Apple's iPhone 5 and/or Samsung's Galaxy S III, in addition to other Samsung "Jelly Bean" products.

Source: Judge Grewal via SBNation [The Verge]



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RE: Extremely bad
By Shadowself on 11/23/2012 2:43:20 PM , Rating: 2
A stockholder in a public company does not get to know the details of each and every detail that company makes. For example, you can't be a stockholder in Apple, owning a single share, then go in and demand to see all the files or any single file you want to see. It does not work that way.

Think of this rather extreme example: You're the CEO of Ford. You also own stock in GM and Chrysler. Does that get you the right to go in and see the details of every deal that GM and Chrysler have done with their suppliers? IF a certain supplier is selling an item to Ford for $11.00 but selling it ti GM for $10.50 and Chrysler for $11.05. Can you use that inside information to go back to that supplier and demand the $10.50 price?

The anser is no. You don't get that information in the first place. Public company or not.

You as a stockholder get to vote on the board. You as a stockholder get to vote on they bylaws of the corporation. You as a stockholder get preferential treatment to sue the company if you think the board and officers are not fulfilling their financial duties to the stockholders at large (not just you as an individual stockholder). You as a stockholder do not get access to all the deals the company makes (other than specific requests due to the fiducial deals situation I just mentioned).

And, just for clarity, none of the patents in the Apple-HTC deal are with regard to Standards Essential Patents that come under the FRAND rules. These are not patents Apple has committed to license at large. Besides, FRAND does not mean that "everyone pays the same".


RE: Extremely bad
By C'DaleRider on 11/24/2012 4:58:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
A stockholder in a public company does not get to know the details of each and every detail that company makes. For example, you can't be a stockholder in Apple, owning a single share, then go in and demand to see all the files or any single file you want to see. It does not work that way.


Completely depends on the amount of stock amassed. True, one single share doesn't give much leverage at all, just a single vote on what issues the BoD decides to have voted upon.

On the other hand, that same person/entity acquiring like 10% of the outstanding shares of stock of a company may indeed give that person/entity the right to a seat on the BoD. And at that point, that person/entity has the right to see everything, as any entity with a seat on the BoD has.


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