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Apple, Samsung Don’t Have to Publicly Disclose “Exceptionally Sensitive Information,” Court Says

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When Apple and Samsung head back to court this November for the second phase of their high-stakes patent trial, they won’t have to publicly reveal some data they’ve been fighting to keep private.

A U.S. appeals court ruled Friday that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh shouldn’t have ordered Apple and Samsung to disclose “exceptionally sensitive information” about their sales and profits. Koh maintained that the disclosure of such information was in the public interest, but the three-judge panel at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington disagreed.

“We recognize the importance of protecting the public’s interest in judicial proceedings and of facilitating its understanding of those proceedings,” the panel ruled. “That interest, however, does not extend to mere curiosity about the parties’ confidential information where that information is not central to a decision on the merits. … While protecting the public’s interest in access to the courts, we must remain mindful of the parties’ right to access those same courts upon terms which will not unduly harm their competitive interest.”

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