Apple Must Tell Samsung About HTC Deal

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - A Federal Court judge in San Francisco has ruled that Samsung must be allowed to know the exact settlement terms of Apple ( AAPL) and HTC's recently-announced patent deal.

Samsung had asked the court to compel Apple - its major rival in the portable computing marketplace - to reveal details of its secret patent dispute agreement with another rival, HTC, earlier this month.

Samsung wants to know exactly what patents and licensing deals are involved in the Apple/HTC agreement because it might have a big effect on the future. It could help Samsung halt Apple's quest to have the courts order a permanent sales ban on Samsung products. The Korean company is "almost certain" that the HTC deal covers some of the same patents Apple is attempting to use against it.

The Federal Court ordered Apple to produce complete terms of the agreement "without delay" and ruled that exact details of the deal would not be made public.

Apple won a $1.05 billion jury decision in its famous software and design patent suit against Samsung, back in August. That fight is currently in the appeals phase. And it doesn't end there. Samsung and Apple are also currently involved in similar patent disputes all around the world.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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