Court Refuses Apple’s Request for Sanction Against Patent Troll’s Lawyer

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Arendi S.A.R.L. has a lawsuit against Google that Apple isn’t party to, but Apple tried and failed to sanction Arendi’s counsel and witness for revealing trade secrets during the trial.

Arendi S.A.R.L. may ring a bell, as it has been involved in several patent lawsuits involving Apple, Google, and Samsung. Apple previously attempted to invalidate a patent using “common sense” as a reason in 2016.

A lawsuit between Google and Arendi has been going on since 2013, and in May 2023, Apple claimed Arendi’s counsel and a witness revealed confidential information during testimony. According to Bloomberg Law, Apple’s sanction against Seth Ard of Susman Godfrey and the witness has been denied by Judge Jennifer L. Hall of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

“The court witnessed the entire trial, including the events in question,” Hall said. “The court is not persuaded that plaintiff’s counsel or its expert disobeyed a court order, that counsel or the expert intended to disobey a court order, or that Apple was damaged.”

Apple’s May motion for sanction claimed that it observed the trial in fear that Arendi would reveal its confidential information. Apple and Arendi had settled a separate lawsuit in September 2021 via a confidential agreement.

The agreement’s confidentiality was allegedly violated during the Google case, as Arendi’s expert examination revealed data during a hypothetical line of questioning. Apple alleges Arendi didn’t request to seal the courtroom before the examination.

Arendi pushed back with an opposition filing stating Apple’s request was “bewildering, and worse is that it would ascribe some improper motivation to Arendi’s counsel in asking it.” The opposition filing said Arendi asked the court to close the courtroom twice when it anticipated a question that may lead to a discussion of Apple’s confidential information.

The judge’s decision arrived on December 28 via an oral order rejecting Apple’s requested sanction. Arendi remains in litigation against several companies for alleged patent violations.

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