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Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

November 8, 2013

APPLE INC., a California Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD., a Korean corporation; SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC., a New York corporation; and SAMSUNG TELECOMMUNICATIONS AMERICA, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendants.

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY SANCTIONS ARE NOT WARRANTED(Re: Docket Nos. 2610, 2622, 2624, 2633)

PAUL S. GREWAL, Magistrate Judge.

Confronted with the serious charge that Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al. ("Samsung") and their attorneys violated this court's protective order, perhaps hundreds of times, the undersigned undertook an in camera review of boxes upon boxes of Samsung's documents. This in camera review was necessary because Samsung raised the equally serious charge that the attorney-client privilege and work-product protections applicable to these documents would otherwise be breached without cause. Having finally crawled out from under the boxes, it appears to the undersigned that if anything was breached, it was this court's protective order, and that sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted.

Before turning to the underlying facts revealed by the review, a recap of recent procedural events in this matter is appropriate:

• July 1, 2013: Nokia Corporation ("Nokia") filed a motion for a protective order in the "12-0630" case to prevent further disclosure of the terms of its confidential license terms with Apple Inc. ("Apple")which had been produced in discovery.[1]
• August 23, 2013: Apple filed a motion to compel further discovery and for sanctions against Samsung and its counsel for violations of this court's protective order in this case.[2]
• September 21, 2013: Nokia joined Apple's motion for sanctions and further discovery.[3]
• October 1, 2013: The parties appeared for oral argument before the court on the motion for sanctions and further discovery.
• October 2, 2013: The undersigned issued an order authorizing further discovery into Samsung's alleged violations of the protective order and entering a stipulation for further discovery agreed to by Nokia and Samsung, but reserving for a later time the question of sanctions.[4]
• October 15, 2013: The presiding judge affirmed the October 2, 2013 order, noting that the "lack of information after three months [was] inexcusable, and necessitate[d] Court-supervised discovery."[5]
• October 22, 2013: The parties appeared for further oral argument on the motion for sanctions. Based on the evidence and arguments before it, the court ordered Samsung to produce "immediately" for in camera review all documents over which it asserted privilege or claimed work product protections.[6]
• October 24, 2013: The court issued an order setting forth a specific schedule for Samsung's production of the documents requested.[7]
• October 29, 2013: Samsung filed a motion for leave to take discovery regarding the details of the June 4, 2013 meeting and the degree to which Apple and Nokia kept the terms of their license agreement confidential.[8]
• November 7, 2013: Samsung completed its in camera submissions.[9]

Even after this exhaustive process, the court still does not have a complete picture of the events giving rise to this procedural flurry. However, from the arguments and evidence submitted, an outline does emerge suggesting sanctions should ...


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