Samsung just suffered another loss in its ongoing legal tussle with Apple — and this one involves legal misconduct by its own team of attorneys.
A judge has ordered Samsung and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, the legal firm representing the Korean tech giant, to pay more than $2 million in penalties to Apple and Nokia.
Quinn Emanuel lawyers leaked the terms of a confidential Apple-Nokia patent-licensing agreement to Samsung executives, ignoring an “attorney’s eyes only” warning. Samsung subsequently used that information in its own negotiations with Nokia, proving its lawyers hadn’t upheld the court order. Months later, when Apple learned of the breach, it asked the court to sanction Samsung and its attorneys to reprimand their illegal behavior.
The court determined that Quinn Emanuel failed to “institute sufficient safeguards for third-party confidential information” and didn’t comply with the case’s notice and cooperation requirements. On those two grounds, U.S. District Court Judge Paul S. Grewal ruled that Samsung and Quinn Emanuel must pay Nokia $1.15 million and Apple $894,000 in fees and costs within the next 30 days.
Samsung faced a far more costly ruling last month, when a federal jury ruled that the Galaxy phone maker should pay Apple $119.6 million in damages for infringing on three of Apple’s patents. Apple had sought $2.2 billion in damages.
As part of that case, Apple handed over the patent licensing documents to Quinn Emanuel to show it had truthfully characterized its patent deals with other companies.