Apple v. Samsung Gettin’ Good

In order to not overwhelm OSNews with even more legal news, I didn’t report on the recent developments in Apple v. Samsung until we had some more stuff to consolidate. Well, since the goings been getting good lately there, let’s talk about it. Samsung was ordered to hand over a slew of unreleased products and materials to Apple, and now, Samsung, for its part, has demanded that Apple hands over the iPhone 5 and iPad 3 to Samsung. If they exist. This is gettin’ good.

As we all know, Apple sued Samsung because it claims some of Samsung’s products copied Apple’s products (and Samsung countersued). As part of this lawsuit, Apple demanded that Samsung hand over several unreleased products, including all packaging and information, so that Apple could determine if the Droid Charge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 could be added to the lawsuit, and a preliminary injunction against these products can be filed.

To me, this sounds like a totally ridiculous demand, but the judge disagreed, and ordered Samsung to hand over said unreleased products. The argument was that since a lot of information about these devices was available already anyway, it made no sense to deny Apple’s demand.

Samsung has now decided to go on the offensive, and demand something similar from Apple: Cupertino has to hand over the most recent prototypes (or finished product, if available) of the iPad 3 and iPhone 5, so that Samsung can evaluate any possible similarities. This would allow Samsung to prepare for any future litigation from Apple. In other words, an equally strange demand.

It’s important to note, by the way, that only Apple’s lawyers get to see Samsung’s unreleased products, and that Samsung is asking for the same restriction (i.e., only Samsung’s lawyers get to see Apple’s products).

All this seems crazy to me. Apple’s lawsuit is about shipping Samsung products, and it seems strange to me that simply because Apple wants to know if it can expand the lawsuit to future products, it gets to sift through Samsung’s future product plans. Similarly, Samsung’s demand – when isolated from Apple’s demand – is just as ridiculous. However, taking Apple’s granted demand into account, I can see where Samsung is coming from – it still doesn’t make a lot of sense, but at least you could argue something about fairness or whatever.

As far as I’ concerned, both Apple and Samsung are making completely ridiculous demands here. If Apple wants to find out if Samsung’s future, unreleased products infringe on Apple’s patents and trademarks, then Apple should just wait until said products are released and go from there. Trying to get a preliminary injunction on products that haven’t been released yet seems strange to me. An infringement on Apple’s patents and trademarks can only potentially happen when Samsung starts selling these products on the US market – but a preliminary injunction would block said possible infringement from taking place, negating the legal basis to file the injunction in the first place!

But then, maybe I’m trying to apply common sense to a lawsuit between two technology companies – a lawsuit in the US no less. That’s kind of like bringing a teddy bear to a gunfight – it looks cute, but it dun’ stop no bullets.


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