June 23, 2024

By Blake Brittain

(Reuters) – Apple Inc on Wednesday accused patent owner Arendi SARL of disclosing secret information about a settlement agreement between them, including how much Apple paid, during Arendi’s separate infringement trial against Alphabet’s Google LLC.

Apple asked a Delaware federal judge to impose monetary sanctions against Arendi and its law firm Susman Godfrey one day after Google defeated Arendi’s $45.5 million lawsuit at the trial, which did not involve Apple.

Arendi’s attorneys and representatives for Apple and Susman Godfrey did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Arendi has sued several tech companies over their patents, which relate to retrieving information such as names and addresses from a database and entering it into word processors and spreadsheets. It sued Apple in 2012 and Google in 2013, accusing their mobile devices of violating the patents.

Apple settled with Arendi in 2021 under confidential terms. Apple’s Wednesday filing said it attended the Google trial because it feared Arendi would misuse its confidential business information during the proceedings.

“And Plaintiff did just that,” the filing said.

Apple said Arendi’s damages expert disclosed the monetary terms of their settlement during questioning by Susman Godfrey partner Seth Ard, violating the companies’ confidentiality agreement.

The company said Arendi and Susman Godfrey have “strong motivations to push the envelope on ‘inadvertently’ disclosing Apple’s confidential information” for “the ultimate benefit of Plaintiff’s licensing regime and Plaintiff’s counsel’s litigation strategy.”

Susman Godfrey previously represented Arendi in other patent lawsuits against companies including Apple, Samsung and LG.

Apple asked the court to award an unspecified amount of fees for the “flagrant violations.”

(Reporting by Blake Brittain in Washington)