We knew this was going to happen. Stung by a judge’s recent decision to allow Apple to look through Samsung’s upcoming phones to look for IP violations, Samsung has just asked a judge in their own patent infringement case against Apple to make Cupertino fork over the prototypes of the iPhone 5 and iPad 3.
According to This Is My Next:
Samsung claims that it needs to see Apple’s future products because devices like the Droid Charge and Galaxy Tab 10.1 will presumably be in the market at the same time as the iPhone 5 and iPad 3, and Samsung’s lawyers want to evaluate any possible similarities so they can prepare for further potential legal action from Apple.
As such, Samsung has asked Apple to produce the “final, commercial versions” of the next-generation iPhone (likely due out in September) and the next-gen iPad (not due out until April of 2012! by June 13th, despite the fact that Samsung’s lawyers admit they don’t actually have any proof that these products are in the pipeline at all, since Apple’s never confirmed they are working on them.
It’s a pretty strange and laughable move, and it’s all moot anyway: even if Samsung happens to win this motion, Apple will simply appeal until either the court dismisses this requirement, or the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 have already been released.
So why is Samsung pursuing this line of thinking? Nilay Patel says it’s all about leverage:
Apple and Samsung held negotiations for a year before giving up and heading to the courts, and I’m reliably informed that there haven’t been any substantive settlement discussions since Apple first filed its complaint. That means talks have been at a standstill for a long time now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Samsung was trying to put some additional heat on Apple to try and kick negotiations back into gear.
In other words, as interesting as it is that Samsung is asking to see the iPhone 5, it doesn’t mean much: this is just initial bickering before the real fireworks begin.