Samsung’s court filing requesting early access to Apple’s next generation iPhone and iPad was denied on Tuesday, blocking the company’s hopes of getting early access to the unreleased iOS devices as part of its legal defense, according to Foss Patents. Apple and Samsung have been facing off in court for the past few months accusing the other company of patent infringement.
Samsung looses fight for early iPhone 5 access
Apple previously asked the court to force Samsung to turn over several of its mobile devices for review by its legal team, and in that instance the court agreed. The difference between the two requests is that the products Apple wanted access to were already available and not in pre-production.
Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung earlier this year alleging that its Galaxy tablet and smartphone line, along with several other smartphones, step on iPhone and iPad-related mobile device patents it owns. Samsung responded with a counter suit claiming the iPhone and iPad infringe on several of its wireless data communication and data transmission.
Apple added more Samsung devices it its filing last week just as Samsung was handing over products to Apple’s legal team. The amended filing from Apple was likely a setup to make requesting a preliminary injunction blocking the sale of some Samsung products possible.
Asking the court to stop the sale of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet and smartphones could, however, prove to be more of a challenge than the company would like.
“Samsung is free to argue, for instance, that there is little likelihood of confusion because consumers will not encounter its products side-by-side with the iPhone 4 or iPad 2, but rather with Apple’s next generation iPhone and iPad,” Judge Lucy Koh said in her ruling. “Similarly, as to proximity, Samsung is free to argue that because the iPhone 4 and iPhone 2 will soon be outmoded and reduced in price, they are not being sold (or very soon will not be sold) to the same class of purchasers who are likely to buy new Samsung products.”
Since Apple is arguing that Samsung’s products steal the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad, the company may have to wait until the iPhone 5 is officially announced before pursuing an injunction. Apple could also attempt to block the sale of Galaxy tablet devices now, and go after Samsung’s phones after the iPhone 5 ships.
Apple’s legal team recently said top executives from both companies are negotiating in an effort to reach a settlement out of court. Samsung, however, denied any knowledge of the talks.