Apple Gets To Look Through Samsung’s Unreleased Smartphones For IP Infringement

Apple Gets To Look Through Samsung’s Unreleased Smartphones For IP Infringement

Apple’s suing Samsung for copying the intellectual property of their iPhone, iPad and iOS designs. In return, Samsung’s suing Apple for patent infringement.

In the Apple vs. Samsung case, though, Apple has just won a weird little concession from the judge: they get to see five of Samsung’s unreleased tablets and smartphones. Can you imagine what would happen if Samsung got the same concession in their suit against Apple?

In court last week, a judge ruling over Apple v. Samsung decided that Cupertino’s claims that the Korean handset maker had released copycat devices in the Nexus S, Epic 4G, Galaxy S 4G and the Galaxy Tab had enough merit to give Apple an early look at Samsung’s upcoming device portfolio.

As such, Samsung must let Apple look over the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G and Droid Charge, ostensibly to check for IP infringement. In the time spent bickering, the Droid Charge and Galaxy SII have already been released, leaving three devices Apple’s lawyers will get an early look at.

According to the judge, while the court isn’t expressing an opinion on the case, Apple “has produced images of Samsung products and other evidence that provide a reasonable basis for Apple’s belief that Samsung’s new products are designed to mimic Apple’s products. In particular, the design and appearance of Samsung’s forthcoming products and packaging are directly relevant to Apple’s trademark, trade dress, and design claims.”

What I think is interesting here is if the tables turn in Samsung vs. Apple. What if Samsung convinces a judge in that case to let them see Apple’s upcoming iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch prototypes, to guarantee that they don’t use infringing patents? I imagine a series of hidden rocket thrusters igniting under 1 Infinite Loop the very next day, carrying Spaceship Jobs and his Apple Astronauts into voluntary exile, to found and colonize an alien world that they can make far perfect than this doomed, stupid planet.

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  • sciwiz

    Infuse 4G is also out on AT&T.

  • CharliK

    Samsung is claiming that Apple is using unlicensed tech so a look won’t do much unless that look is for the code for iOS. 

    Apple is claiming trade dress violations which are clear just by seeing the UI. And given how many blogs have noticed that the Samsung looks like a rip off of the iOS interface, it’s a shock that the courts didn’t bam the hammer on Samsung. At least with a cease and desist on all new models (no damages awarded). I suppose this look see will do the same effect in the end. 

  • Alexander530

    It makes sense for Apple to review Samsung’s unreleased devices, not the other way around. Why would Samsung have the right to review Apple’s unreleased devices when it’s Apple releasing products first, like the iphone and the ipad? So obviously, Samsung is just waiting for Apple’s next device, not the other way around.

  • Bugbytes Security

    I wish Samsung would just stick to making phones and stop there. I have an Intensity and I like it, but their Galaxy Tab stinks. And if they want to have success, they need to come up with ideas that are at least 80% their own.

  • cheesy11

    apple is leading the market right now, all retailers are emulating their products in some way or form

  • Jose Rodriguez

    Conditions under which accusations would be true:

    Software copying: Every device on this list EXCEPT for the Nexus S and the Galaxy tab(s).

    The nexus s runs stock android 2.3, which contains your standard google widget and 3 icons on the bottom of the screen covering little over 1/3, leaving the other 2 spaces to switch between home screens.

    The galaxy tabs run honeycomb which also can clearly be differentiated from an ipad(in fact it reminds more of PS3 hub than anything.)

    Hardware copying? The Nexus S and Galaxy tabs would be the only legal case.

    Every other phone is either too large or oddly shaped, containing a giant SAMSUNG logo plastered on the top that only a moron could mistake for another product.

  • Jose Rodriguez

    Conditions under which accusations would be true:

    Software copying: Every device on this list EXCEPT for the Nexus S and the Galaxy tab(s).

    The nexus s runs stock android 2.3, which contains your standard google widget and 3 icons on the bottom of the screen covering little over 1/3, leaving the other 2 spaces to switch between home screens.

    The galaxy tabs run honeycomb which also can clearly be differentiated from an ipad(in fact it reminds more of PS3 hub than anything.)

    Hardware copying? The Nexus S and Galaxy tabs would be the only legal case.

    Every other phone is either too large or oddly shaped, containing a giant SAMSUNG logo plastered on the top that only a moron could mistake for another product.

  • dale2000

    “that they can make far perfect than this doomed, stupid planet.”

    Even perfecter than our grammar?

  • Hcltouch Care

    With the success of Samsung Galxy S tablets Apple seems to be worried about there market presence, I Pads are surely nice but Samsung Tablets are much better in temrs of features and price. 

  • Hcltouch Care

    With the success of Samsung Galxy S tablets Apple seems to be worried about there market presence, I Pads are surely nice but Samsung Tablets are much better in temrs of features and price.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his girlfriend and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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