Samsung Can’t Preview Apple’s iDevices, Says Court

June 23, 2011
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United States District Court Judge Lucy H. Koh this week denied Samsung’s request to preview Apple’s upcoming iPhone and iPad in relation to the intellectual property suit lodged by Apple against Samsung.

Koh found no “good cause to justify expedited discovery of Apple’s future products, packaging, and packaging inserts,” and for that reason, Koh denied Samsung’s motion for expedited discovery. However, she believes Samsung has the right to “parity in discovery directed at Apple’s potential preliminary injunction motion.”

Apple’s original complaint against Samsung dealt with alleged infringement of already existing products from Samsung. Koh took this into account when responding to Samsung’s reciprocal discovery motion. Koh also noted Apple’s ultrasecretive approach towards providing the public with information of upcoming devices–a secrecy that Samsung doesn’t seem to practice. Samsung released 5,000 samples of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 earlier this year.

Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents has an interesting analysis of this latest development. First, Apple gets some good news–but only for the time being. Second, Apple gets some bad news in the form of a portion in the court order which, according to Mueller, hints that “Apple may not get a preliminary injunction against the sale of certain Samsung products in the United States at this stage.”

Earlier, Apple had requested the court to allow Apple to view Samsung’s products, specifically the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, the Infuse 4G, and the Droid Charge, all of which Apple alleged to be infringing on the latter’s intellectual property. Samsung responded by requesting a similar privilege to preview Apple’s upcoming iPhone 5 and iPad 3. It was this latter request that Koh denied this week.

The legal interlocution between Apple and Samsung may not quiet down soon. There’s also the possibility that the now-warring parties–formerly close buddies (as Samsung supplies semiconductors to Apple)–may reach and out-of-court settlement, as top brass of both companies have been reportedly “meeting and talking.”

Which do you think will be better for everyone? Jury trial? Or amicable settlement?

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