Is there any danger of Apple cribbing ideas from Samsung, who was ordered in the patent-infringement case to show them five unreleased phones and tablets? Nah, I doubt it—but it's a strike against Samsung, for sure.
Sometimes, companies' products are so similar to one another, it's like they peeked at them during the development stage. Other times, companies barely try to mask where their "inspiration" came from, and actually step on their toes, by using patented features they would ordinarily have to license. In the latter complaint, Apple launched a lawsuit against Samsung in April, alleging that the Nexus S, Epic 4G, Galaxy S 4G and the Galaxy Tab tablet borrowed heavily from Apple's iPhone and iPad.
Samsung quickly followed up with its own suit against Apple, arguing that Apple were the ones stealing from them. It's all very playground antics, you could say.
In court last week, the judge ruling over the Apple-against-Samsung case decided that Samsung must show five of its upcoming handsets and tablets to Apple, including the Galaxy S2, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G and Droid Charge.
This doesn't however mean that the court is siding with Apple on this one. Judge Koh wrote that:
"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
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"
Of the five phones and tablets Samsung's arms have been twisted over, the Galaxy S II has been released, as has the Droid Charge. Both the 8.9-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab tablest, and Infuse 4G aren't yet on sale. [Court House News via TechRadar]