John Quinn, Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan partner
John Quinn, Quinn, Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan partner ()

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple and Samsung’s worldwide patent battle has been fought tit for tat.

So naturally, Samsung and its lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan responded to sanctions for leaking confidential information with accusations of their own.

In a motion filed Wednesday, Quinn Emanuel pressed for details about Apple’s public filing of a licensing agreement with Nokia. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal sanctioned Quinn Emanuel in January for leaking that information to Samsung.

“We have been criticized for not having an adequate system for policing the control of confidential information,” Quinn said in an interview on Wednesday. “We had been faulted by Apple, and in the middle of that proceeding, they had done the exact same thing and worse.”

Apple notified Samsung last month that it accidentally made details of the licensing agreement public in October as part of a court filing. But Apple has resisted demands for more information, according to the motion.

“Given Apple’s aggressive campaign to seek sanctions against Samsung for its inadvertent disclosures … Apple has no colorable basis for refusing Samsung’s reasonable inquiries,” Quinn Emanuel partner Charles Verhoeven wrote in the motion.

Quinn Emanuel urged the court to order Apple to provide deposition testimony and a sworn declaration about its system for protecting confidential information. The firm pointedly questioned whether Apple had followed a “multi-step review process.” Grewal criticized Quinn Emanuel’s famously spare structure in his order sanctioning the firm for violating the protective order.

Quinn Emanuel argued that the judge should reconsider its punishment if Apple is also found to have violated the protective order. Apple has asked for more than $905,000 in attorney fees and costs, and Nokia has requested almost $1.2 million.

Quinn Emanuel also claims Apple leaked the secrets of competitors, including Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Novell in November. Quinn Emanuel said it does not know which Apple lawyers disclosed the information. A spokesman for Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Samsung and Apple are bracing for their next patent spat. A case over newer versions of the companies’ phones and tablets is headed to trial before U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on March 31.

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