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Judge denies Apple's request to seal financial documents from Samsung trial

Judge Lucy Koh. | Source: U.S. District Court

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In an order handed down on Wednesday, Apple v. Samsung Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's motion to keep its financial particulars sealed, however the jurist agreed to a temporary stay on that ruling as it pertains to certain earnings and profits numbers pending federal court appeal.

The order granted in part and denied in part Apple's motion to seal specific documents related to a declaration by an expert witness, and did the same for the company's request for a stay on the California court's decision to disclose confidential financial information.

Perhaps most relevant to Apple's ongoing post-trial motions is Judge Koh's decision to grant the request to stay, however, as Apple has gone to great lengths to keep its financial dealings private.

At issue is Apple's introduction of a currently redacted document containing a partial summary of damages calculations, which includes "product-specific unit sales and revenue information."

The judge originally denied the request to keep the Damages Motion sealed, saying that Apple needed to reveal the documents because it is seeking an enhancement of $535 million on top of the $1.05 billion awarded by the Apple v. Samsung jury in August. In that motion, Apple is looking to permanently enjoin the sale of 26 Samsung products already on the market.

“As Apple appears to have realized in introducing that exhibit, it cannot both use its financial data to seek multi-billion dollar damages and insist on keeping it secret,” Judge Koh wrote in her order. “The public’s interest in accessing Apple’s financial information is now perhaps even greater than it was at trial.”

She goes on to say that Apple has not furnished adequate arguments as to why the supposedly confidential information should be classified as "trade secrets," noting that her earlier order found "unit sales, revenue, profit, profit margin, and cost data do not meet the 'compelling reasons' standard."

Apple was granted a stay from the Federal Circuit, however, and while Judge Koh believes her former order to deny the sealing request was correct, she also notes that "the parties will be deprived of any remedy if this Court does not stay its Order."

The stay will be in effect pending the federal court's decision on appeal.