The back and forth between Samsung and Apple continues. After being sued by Apple for copying the overall design and feel of the iPhone, Samsung was forced to hand over its latest devices for inspection. A week later, Samsung responded with a request to see Apple’s next generation products (iPhone 5 and iPad 3), claiming these would be the devices Samsung competes against. Having such products would help Samsung prepare against any type of legal action from Apple.
As we expected, Apple was not happy about this request and was very unwilling to cooperate. We’ve just found out the Court agrees; Apple will not need to hand over the iPhone 5 or iPad3. This decision is based mainly on already-known reasons, including the fact that Apple has not announced either device and that Apple tends to be very secretive.
While Samsung is probably right about that Apple will soon release the iPhone 5, it’s still considered a company secret. Nothing is known of these devices. Apple claims Samsung is basing their request on an assumption.
The Court has definitely sided with Apple in this part of the fight. But to keep things fair, the Court is considering Samsung’s arguments. No action is to be taken–at least not yet. The Court acknowledges Samsung could very well argue its new devices will be competing with the nest generation of Apple devices, not the current ones.
Samsung is free to argue, for instance, that there is little likelihood of confusion because consumers will not encounter its products side-by-side with the iPhone 4 or iPad 2, but rather with Apple’s next generation iPhone and iPad. Similarly, as to proximity, Samsung is free to argue that because the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 will soon be outmoded and reduced in price, they are not being sold (or very soon will not be sold) to the same class of purchasers who are likely to buy new Samsung products. By choosing to allege infringement only of its current products, Apple opens itself up to these arguments.Lucy H. KohUnited States District Judge
Stay tuned for more details, as it may take a long time for things to be resolved (lawsuits usually do). For now, Samsung will not be getting dibs on any Apple devices. The whole case could very well be put on hold, as things might have to wait until Apple’s products are announced/released and a better judgement can rendered. Do you guys think Samsung will ask the Court to wait until the iDevices come around? Is it even fair to state Samsung devices (Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy S II, Infuse 4G, and Droid Charge) are more directly competing with future Apple devices instead of current ones? Tell us what you think, and let’s keep our ears open for more details on this.