In a battle that promises to run for a while, Apple has had one win in the patent infringement lawsuit it has filed against Samsung. The court has ruled in Apple’s favor on Samsung’s demand to preview iPhone 5 and iPad 3 in response to Apple’s allegation that the Korean company has copied its designs for the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and Droid Charge and other products. Apple will still have to obtain preliminary injunction against Samsung’s ability to sell their devices (Galaxy and Nexus) in the United States though.
The judge’s decision was based on a number of factors: (i) Apple’s infringement case pertained to existing products, not unreleased ones, and (ii) Apple is known for its secretiveness over product releases unlike Samsung that’s very openhanded in its allusions and pre-release product distributions.
The judge stated:
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. 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. By choosing to allege infringement only of its current products, Apple opens itself up to these arguments.
FOSS Patent’s Florian Mueller believes that Apple will have better chances of accomplishing injunction against Samsung if they motion for it when the iPhone 5 arrives in September as it’s highly unlikely that Apple will disclose its new releases in court before a public opening.
[via FOSS Patents, Scribd]