U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal, Northern District of California (Jason Doiy / The Recorder)
SAN FRANCISCO — Samsung and its lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan must pay more than $2 million to compensate Apple and Nokia for the firestorm of litigation that followed a leak of confidential business information, a federal judge ruled Friday.
Laying to rest one of the last offshoots of Apple and Samsung’s original patent brawl, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal ordered the South Korean company and its law firm to fork over $1,145,027 for Nokia’s attorney fees and costs as well as $893,825 for Apple’s. Grewal ruled in January that Quinn Emanuel deserved sanctions for giving Samsung details about the terms of a license struck between Apple and Nokia.
Ruling over protests from Quinn Emanuel, Grewal found that most of the attorney fees and costs requested by Apple and Nokia were reasonable and well-documented. He reasoned that Apple and Nokia were right to litigate fiercely after the leak of confidential information came to light.
“This was not a case where the parties tested a wild legal theory, or pushed the bounds of a subjective standard in seeking sanctions,” Grewal wrote. “Apple and Nokia had concrete evidence indicating wrongdoing at the time the motion was brought.”
Spokeswomen for Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. declined to comment on the order. Nokia did not respond to a request for comment.
Quinn Emanuel founder John Quinn vowed to keep fighting.
“We’re going to be appealing this order,” he said.
Grewal resisted most of Quinn Emanuel’s bids to prune Apple and Nokia’s bills. After learning that Apple had also failed to redact the terms of its license with Nokia, Quinn howled that Cupertino-based Apple did not deserve full fees if it could not protect its own information. But Grewal reiterated his view that Apple’s own missteps were irrelevant.
Grewal also disagreed with Quinn Emanuel about Apple and Nokia’s track record, finding that the companies had performed well enough to recover fees. In his order earlier this year, Grewal agreed with Apple and Nokia that Quinn Emanuel and Samsung violated the protective order and did not do enough to address the breach, though he was not convinced that the South Korean company had used the confidential information.
“Apple and Nokia succeeded on most of their claims, and the court declines to reduce its fee award to indicate anything less,” Grewal wrote.
Grewal refused Quinn Emanuel’s requests to dodge bills for an unfiled motion, depositions and Nokia’s meals and transportation. But he sided with the firm that it should not have to foot the bill for the companies’ first-class and business airfare, finding that only coach tickets could be charged.
In his January order granting sanctions, Grewal indicated Quinn Emanuel, rather than client Samsung, would be on the hook. But Grewal wrote this week that both Samsung and the law firm should cover the costs. Though the Samsung’s name has been added to the bill, law firms often pick up the tab when their clients are sanctioned, IP litigators said.
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