Yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh dropped her ruling on Samsung in the patent infringement lawsuit Apple brought against the company.
Koh ordered Samsung to provide Apple with product samples, packaging, package inserts, and manuals for the following unreleased, but widely covered devices:
- Galaxy S2
- Galaxy Tab 8.9
- Galaxy Tab 10.1
- Infuse 4G
- Droid Charge
Apple's suit accused Samsung of designing products "confusingly similar to Apple's iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone." The goods Samsung has been forced to turn over don't include any products that the public didn't already know about. Also, only the legal counsel that represented Apple during the proceedings will be able to look at the devices and their packaging. None of Apples in-house legal team or engineers will be able to get their hands on the devices.
This ruling is more of an inconvenience, and embarrassment to Samsung than potentially damaging. In fact, Samsung handed out 5,000 Galaxy 10.1 tablets to the lucky attendees of the Google I/O conference. Most of the information about the requested devices is already out there.
Apple will be granted "expedited discovery," which means Samsung has to turn over the goods to Apple within 30 days. After examining the products Apple can then decide whether or not they want to file for an injunction (stop Samsung from selling their products).
It seems somewhat absurd to me that this even has to happen. Yes the Galaxy S2 looks an awful lot like a 3GS, and yes Samsung went back to the drawing board when the iPad 2 was released, but honestly, how many form factors for these devices are there? Hell they're all almost candybar phones now. Tablets by definition look like a slab. It's all a matter of how thick, what color, and screen size you want to implement in the devices. Even most of the processors, and other components in these devices are the same.
Which brings us to the only real defining, and differing aspect of all smartphones, and tablet devices, the software. Unless Samsung is running a copy of iOS then this shouldn't really matter. Obviously, Samsung isn't playing copy-cat like the Chinese factory variants that appear in droves over seas, so whats the big deal?
At the end of the day Apple is still going to be one of Samsung's largest customers, and Samsung one of Apple's largest component suppliers. The best of frenemies.
Source: Apple forces Samsung to hand over Galaxy prototypes | Crave - CNET