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Apple told to Share HTC Deal Details with Samsung

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(Photo : Creative Commons) A California judge has asked Apple to disclose to its competitor, Samsung, the terms and conditions of its dealing with HTC.

In a crushing blow to Apple, a California judge has asked the iPhone manufacturer to disclose to its competitor, Samsung, the terms and conditions of its dealing with HTC.

Early this month, Apple and HTC put an end to all their patent wars and announced that they had reached a settlement, including a 10-year license agreement that grants rights to current and future patents held by both parties. However, the financial aspect of the dealing and other intricacies of the agreement were not revealed, prompting Samsung to approach the courts to make Apple furnish the information.

Now, the court has ordered Apple to produce a copy of the agreement "without delay", but subject to an "attorneys' eyes only" designation. This means that the document will not be made public, BBC reported.

Samsung, with whom Apple is embroiled in various patent wars, is hoping to find clauses in the Apple-HTC agreement that would help the Korean company support its opposition to Apple's permanent injunction motion.

"According to Samsung, the settlement agreement undermines Apple's assertion that an injunction is a more appropriate remedy than money damages," Samsung's court documents filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California said. "Apple responds that it is willing to provide the settlement agreement but notes that HTC objects to the production of the agreement's financial terms because of their competition value."

The filing noted that Samsung felt a royalty was a better alternative to a permanent injunction, a Nasdaq report pointed out.

Separately, Samsung and Apple have expanded their patent wars by including each others' newly launched products. While Samsung is adding the iPhone 5, Apple is adding the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus in its complaint.

However, Judge Paul S. Grewal denied Apple permission to include the Android Jelly Bean OS stating: "Samsung also does not have any design control over the content of Jelly Bean as it is a Google Android product that Samsung itself did not develop. The court will not permit a sweeping amendment that might apply to devices other than those properly tied to Samsung," Wired.com reported.

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