Apple Granted Pre-Release Preview of Samsung Gear in Patent Case
What an unhappy day for Samsung. The court presiding over its legal spat with Apple has ordered it to turn over a handful of smartphone and tablet samples to Cupertino’s attorneys as part of discovery. Samsung now has 30 days to provide its rival with product samples of the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and 4G LTE (the Droid Charge). Three of them–the Galaxy Tab 8.9, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Infuse–haven’t yet been officially released.
“Although the Court expresses no opinion on the merits of Apple’s claims, the Court notes that 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,” Judge Lucy Kohl wrote in her order. “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. Because these claims are subject to consumer confusion and ‘ordinary observer’ standards, the products themselves and the packaging in which they are sold are likely to be central to any motion for preliminary injunction.”
Normally, Samsung would have three months to produce the product samples requested, but because it’s been promoting some of them so heavily–it gave away 5000 Galaxy Tab 10.1s at Google I/O earlier this month, for example–the court reduced that window to a single month.
Notably, it also restricted examination of the device to outside counsel only, ostensibly to prevent Apple from engaging in the “blatant copying” of which it accuses Samsung. So Apple’s in-house counsel won’t get to see the devices. Not that it matters. Hard to see Apple copying something that was allegedly a copy of its own products.