Apple may have beaten Samsung in court to the tune of $1.05 billion. But it might have come at a high price. A California judge has ruled that Cupertino must make public the financial data they used during the court case, according to AllThingsD.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who presided over Apple’s patent infringement case in August, has ruled that the company cannot keep key financial information secret. As such, she has told Apple to release “product-specific unit sales, revenue, profit, profit margin, and cost data.”
She argued that a company of Apple’s size cannot both seek multibillion dollar damages and product injunctions, and keep their financial data secret forever.
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,” Koh said in her ruling. “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.
Apple had said that releasing this information would force them to give up trade secrets. In doing so, competitors would benefit.
For the time being, Koh has already issued a stay on the ruling pending the outcome of a federal court appeal.
Apple is a public company. Therefore, I’m not sure what type of defense the company can offer to keep these documents secret. In fact, I’m surprised they were made public during the course of the trial.
On Thursday, Oct. 25, Apple will publicly release their fourth quarter earnings. You know, the ones that don’t include product-specific unit information.