Samsung Lawyers Ordered to Pay $2 Million in Opponent’s Fees

Samsung’s lawyers at Quinn Emanuel must pay Nokia and Apple nearly $2 million in attorney fees and costs for investigation of the unauthorized release of confidential Apple patent licensing information to Samsung employees.

U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal on Friday said Nokia should receive $1.145 million and Apple $894,000 in fees and costs and that Quinn Emanuel must pay up in 30 days.

The judge did give Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan break.  He found 19 of 400 records submitted by Apple and Nokia lawyers contained “troubling” terms with block billing of 10 or more hours for such things as “drafting,” “preparing,” or “revising” various briefs.

Grewal found these subject to a 20 percent “haircut” from the total requested.  For those bills alone, he cut $19,000 to Nokia and $4,000 to Apple.

Quinn Emanuel argued that Grewal should reduce the fee request further based on newly revealed evidence that “Apple and Kokia failed to adequately protect their own information,” by Apple’s mistaken failure to redact terms of its Nokia license from a publicly filed document.

Grewal said mistaken Apple release is irrelevant because he sanctioned Quinn Emanuel in January 2014, while Apple’s inadvertent disclosure was in month later, in February.

“This was not a case where the partieds tested a wild legal theory, or pushed the bounds of a subjective standard in seeking sanctions,” he wrote.  “Apple and Kokia had concrete evidence indicating wrongdoing at the time that the motion was brought.”

Quinn also wanted reductions in fees based “on Nokia’s inappropriate ‘scorched earth’ litigation strategy and duplicative work,” Grewal pointed out.

The judge said he was “disinclined to grant the request., saying he can’t fault Kokia for zealously pursuing the relief granted by this court.”

Quinn did win small concessions.  Grewal agreed to reduce first class and business airfare seats to coach class on some of Apple’s charges, cutting an $11,200 bill to $3,400.

And he refused to order payment for Nokia’s sending of a lawyer to Korea as part of the investigation.

With the limited exceptions Grewal found the remaining fees and costs “reasonable and shall be awarded.”

Case: Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co, No. 11-1846LHK



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