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A U.S. court has ordered Cupertino-based Apple Inc. to reveal its HTC patent settlement documents to Samsung.

The order comes with the instruction "attorneys-eyes only." It specifies that the settlement documents can only be examined by Samsung's official attorneys. The document cannot be viewed by a third party nor made public. 

Apple made a patent deal with HTC on November 10 that included dropping all current lawsuits and a 10-year license covering current and future patents held by both parties.

Samsung received two happy tidings this Thanksgiving: On November 19, the USITC (United States International Trade Commission) announced a review of the August judgment which ordered Samsung to pay $1.05 billion to Apple for patent infringement and design specifications. And now U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal has ordered Apple to disclose HTC patent settlement to Samsung.

According to Reuters, the Korean company has argued that it is "almost certain" that the HTC deal covers some of the same patents involved in its own litigation with Apple.

Samsung believes that a royalty was a more suitable alternative compared to a permanent injunction.

The Guardian reported that blogger Florian Muller  has some redacted details of the original HTC-Apple agreement.

Muller has observed that any change in the ownership of these companies will automatically make this settlement void.

  • The patent agreement is governed by the laws of U.S. and California.
  • It is said that the lawsuit can be revoked if any new disputes do arise in the future.
  • It has been noted that both companies have no intention of sharing all their patent rights because the leaked document is unclear whether the settlement extends to all patents of both the companies.

Samsung's main concern would be to ascertain the monetary compensation that Apple would gain from HTC for its December 6 hearing, where Apple is requesting a ban on some Samsung products in the U.S.