1st Amendment News

FAC & Reporters Committee file briefs in Apple v. Samsung secrecy appeal

The First Amendment Coalition on Monday filed an amicus brief in an appeal of a secrecy ruling in the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement litigation. FAC is participating to defend the trial judge’s ruling directing the unsealing of certain confidential financial recorSupport FAC's work: Donate!ds filed under seal by both Apple and Samsung.

Also filed Monday: a media amicus brief prepared by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and submitted on behalf of the New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Gannett and others. Together, the two amicus briefs present essentially all the arguments that would have been made by a single party–if there were one in the appeal–aligned against Apple and Samsung.

FAC’s brief is available here. It was prepared by Bill Stein and his colleagues Eric Parnes and Dan Lloyd in the Washington, DC office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed. Here is a link to the RCFP brief.

FAC argues that Apple and Samsung have not overcome the presumption, applied correctly by the trial judge in ordering the unsealing of certain documents, in favor of transparency. Because the default is the unsealing of records filed in a federal court proceeding, the burden is on Apple and Samsung to show “compelling reasons” to keep them secret—which they have not done, according to FAC’s brief.

FAC also argues that characterizing the records as “trade secrets” does not justify their sealing, both because the disputed records don’t qualify as trade secrets and because even trade secrets must be disclosed unless there are compelling reasons to keep them under wraps.

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