On Friday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Apple (AAPL) must disclose confidential financial data in the lawsuit with Samsung, and ordered Apple to release important financial information about the specific product sales, revenues, profits, profit margins and cost data. Lucy Koh said Apple can not use these financial data to seek to obtain billions in compensation and prohibited Samsung to sell products meanwhile keeping the confidentiality of these data. Koh was the presiding judge of the lawsuit between Apple and Samsung and has previously ruled that Samsung violated Apple’s patents, and the former must pay over $ 1billion in compensation to the latter.
The main reason for Apple to protect these data is that these are the company’s trade secrets, and once disclosed, it will bring a competitive advantage to its competitors. But this is not sufficient reason. Although Lucy Koh has agreed to shelve the case, and wait for the results of the Federal Court of Appeal, but Apple may soon be forced to announce these important sales data, which are shrouded in secrecy previously for a long period. This will be a blow to Apple, but good for investors and analysts.
Of course, Apple also has the opportunity to not publish these financial data, and that is to make an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
The British Court of Appeals on Thursday maintained the original verdict of the High Court, saying that the Samsung Galaxy Tablet PC had not infringed on Apple’s design patents. The court also asked Apple to publish an apology in the British media, in order to clarify that Samsung did not infringe iPad patents. The ruling on Thursday is effective in the whole Europe, and therefore may refrain the two companies from continuing to commence legal proceedings against each other over the issue.
The recent progress of the patent war between Apple and Sumsung seems to be a little more in Sumsung’s favor. Apple stock price opened lower and closed down 3.6% to $609.84 on Friday, recording a three consecutive trading day loss. Apple stock has fallen from above $650 to the current level and the market capitalization of Apple also fell from $600 billion to $571.7 billion. Apple stock has a price to earnings ratio of about 14.