Apple Calls Samsung's Request to See iPhone 5 and iPad 3 an 'Attempt to Harass'
Late last month, Samsung attempted to escalate its patent dispute with Apple by requesting to see Apple's next-generation iPhone and iPad models, ostensibly to help it defend itself against Apple's charges of copying and other infringement. The request was made after Apple requested and was granted access to unreleased Samsung hardware, although that hardware had already been extensively advertised and demoed by Samsung.
FOSS Patents now reports that Apple has filed a response to Samsung's request, referring to the move as an "improper attempt to harass" Apple by requesting to see secret hardware that bears no relevance to Apple's claims against Samsung. From Apple's filing:
Samsung's Motion to Compel is an improper attempt to harass Apple by demanding production of extremely sensitive trade secrets that have no relevance to Apple's likelihood of success on its infringement claims or to a preliminary injunction motion. Apple made a compelling showing in its motion to expedite discovery that Apple needs samples of products that Samsung has already announced, distributed, and described, so that Apple can evaluate whether to file a preliminary injunction motion against those products, which look strikingly similar to the distinctive trade dress of Apple's current products. Samsung has made no such showing about Apple's future products. Therefore, Samsung's Motion to Compel should be denied.
Samsung has until this Friday to produce the samples of unreleased hardware to Apple, after which time Apple will decide whether to proceed with a request for a preliminary injunction barring Samsung from selling the new products, a move that could give Apple significant leverage in extracting a settlement from Samsung. This Friday should also see a ruling on whether Samsung will be permitted access to Apple's next-generation hardware.