SAN JOSE, Calif. – A former Samsung licensing director said disclosing a patent before a standard is frozen is “a stupid thing,” according a deposition introduced Friday (Aug. 17) by Apple in its patent infringement case against Samsung.
Apple replayed the comment here in court from a video deposition taken earlier this year, intending to throw mud on the image of the Korean giant. It's unclear whether the comment, like so many others made in testimony here, was presented in its full context. In separate testimony, an expert for Samsung suggested many companies wait until patents are granted before disclosing them.
In the video, Jun Won Lee, speaking through a translator, said he led a 200-person IP group at Samsung from 2005-2010. It included 20 to 30 people responsible for telecoms standards such as 3G from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)/3GPP.
The small team sat in on 3G and other standards meetings, and was responsible for directing work on patents that related to the standards, he said. Asked if Samsung ever disclosed a patent before a standard was frozen, he replied, “I am not sure if that ever happened, but if it happened I believe that was a stupid thing.”
Apple previously established ETSI requires companies who make a proposal to disclose any patents on their proposal in a timely way. It showed two 3G patents Samsung claims Apple infringed were not disclosed until a year or more after the standard was frozen, violating ETSI policy, said Michael Walker, a Kings College administrator and Apple expert witness.
The testimony raises a broader question of what are industry practices in disclosures for standards-essential patents, something neither side raised in questioning witnesses here today.