December 06, 2011, 11:02 AM — A previously redacted section of a court filing in Apple's patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung Electronics seems to weaken any Apple argument for possible financial damages.
As Reuters reported on Monday:
In denying Apple's bid to stop Samsung from selling its Galaxy smartphone and tablets in the United States, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh's ruling inadvertently included details she had intended to black out. The judge's staff quickly realized the error, sealed the electronic document and posted a redacted version four hours later.
To quote Rick Perry: Oops!
While the temporarily unredacted sections of the ruling contain no trade secrets or other bombshells, DailyTech's Jason Mick highlights one interesting passage buried in the Reuters article: Apple's own research "shows that most of Samsung's customers are either new smartphone users who weren't interested in iPhones or, most commonly, are current Android users who are switching from another device maker."
In other words, Apple itself has concluded that while Samsung's Galaxy mobile products "slavishly" copy the iPhone and iPad, they're not taking customers or revenue from Cupertino.
I don't even know why that bit of information was redacted by the judge in the first place. What does it hurt for the public to know that?
Maybe Apple thinks this acknowledgement will harm its case against Samsung in the 10,000 other countries where they're fighting patent battles. (I don't see how; the courts that will eventually make the rulings already have the info, one would think!) But that's Apple's problem, not Koh's. This judge really needs to quit rubber-stamping redaction requests and start considering the needs of tech bloggers.
Apple sued Samsung in a U.S. federal court last April. The companies aren't scheduled to be back in the San Jose, Calif., court until next July.