Samsung’s request to sight contractual agreements for the iPhone between Apple and its telco partners has been set aside by the Federal Court.
The Korean electronics vendor is embroiled in a bitter intellectual court battle initiated by Apple in August.
Samsung was accused of having infringed a number of Apple-held patents with its Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which has since been banned from being sold in Australia.
It launched a countersuit against Apple for patent infringement as well, namely with the iPhone 4S.
In the Federal Court, it was revealed Samsung has issued a ‘notice to produce’ to Apple, requesting it to surrender contractual agreements between the US-based vendor and its three telco partners in Australia.
Samsung is seeking three contracts Apple has with telco operators for the terms of sale of the iPhone possibly to use in its countersuit.
The vendor wants to establish iPhone 4S sales have impacted on Samsung Galaxy phones which would impact on damages awarded.
Apple’s legal representative fought back, raising concerns about the confidential nature of the agreements and the irrelevance of the contracts in the matter.
Presiding Judge, Justice Bennett, agreed on this point. She claimed the contracts would only aid in determining how and why iPhone 4S sales has affected Galaxy phone sales, which is not needed if the fact that there was some impact has already been established.
Furthermore, court-appointed solicitors have already examined the contracts based on Samsung’s enquires about them so there should be no further need for the vendor to request for the documents, according to Justice Bennett.
Samsung’s legal representative was still very determined to obtain the documents although Justice Bennett was quick to note analysing the three contracts would drag out an already long and complex case.
“This is a full contract fight on a very tangential point,” she said. “… I think we need to close things down because we have enough issues [to deal with],” Justice Bennett said. “I’m going to set it aside.”
One way for Samsung to obtain the documents is to request for it again. Justice Bennett will have to hear confidentiality concerns from the telco providers involved in the contracts and for the vendor to provide exact reasons as to why it needs the information.
The case continues.