An anonymous reader writes "U.S. courts have strict rules in place governing the treatment of confidential business information. The most sensitive information is labeled 'highly confidential — attorneys' eyes only', meaning that only a company's outside lawyers are allowed to see it. The Apple-Nokia patent settlement contract and deals Apple struck with others (Ericsson, Sharp, Philips) were such highly confidential business information. But a Samsung executive allegedly boasted in a patent licensing negotiation with Nokia a few months ago about knowing all the terms of the Apple-Nokia deal because the Korean company's lawyers had provided it to their client, against the rules. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California now wants to find out more before deciding on sanctions against Samsung and its law firm, Quinn Emanuel."