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Samsung demands to see Apple's next iPhone, iPad

Says Apple agreed to reciprocal exchange of new products in patent, trademark dispute

In the latest round of an ongoing patent and trademark battle, Samsung on Friday asked a federal judge to make Apple provide the Korean electronics giant with samples of its next-generation iPhone and iPad.

Samsung asked U.S. District Court Judge Koh to force Apple to give it "a sample of the final, commercial version of the next generation iPhone that Apple will release, whether that product will be known as the 'iPhone 4S,' 'iPhone 5,' or some other name," according to a motion filed in a California federal court Friday.

The Korean company also made a similar demand for "the next generation iPad that Apple will release, whether that product will be known as the 'iPad 3,' 'Third Generation iPad,' or some other name."

Assuming Koh agrees with Samsung, Apple would have until June 17 to hand over the iPhone and iPad samples.

Samsung's move followed Apple's motion earlier this month demanding that its rival show it several of its newest smartphones and tablets as part of the discovery phase of a lawsuit Apple filed against Samsung. Koh granted Apple's motion.

Samsung and Apple have been locked in a legal battle since mid-April, when Apple accused Samsung of "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad with several of its smartphones and its Galaxy Tab tablets. Apple claimed that Samsung's devices infringed 10 Apple patents and violated two trademarks.

Days later, Samsung counterattacked by filing lawsuits against Apple in Germany, Japan and Korea.

Apple, which is notoriously secretive about its products -- the company has not yet publicly revealed the successor to the iPhone 4, its name or when it will go on sale -- refused Samsung's outside-the-court request earlier this month for the next iPhone and iPad, according to Samsung's account of negotiations.

Most analysts believe Apple will not begin selling a new iPhone until September , breaking with its practice the last four years, when it launched a new model in June or July.

Samsung acknowledged that the Apple products are not yet available, but argued that the future iPhone and iPad would be what its smartphones and tablets would compete against and be compared to in the future.

According to Samsung's motion, Apple's lawyers agreed to reciprocal disclosure during a May 12 hearing, and Judge Koh said she expected as much from Apple.

"Apple responded that Apple was 'willing to live by the rules that you set for us, because we want an injunction here and we're not going to get an injunction here if we're not reciprocal in discovery,'" the motion said Apple's attorney told Koh on May 12.

For her part, the judge also said she anticipated an exchange of products.

"At the close of the hearing the Court stated: 'And let me just say to counsel for Apple, I'm not going to be happy if you're not [sic] going to say what's good for the goose is not good for the gander. Okay?'" the motion read.

Samsung said it would abide by the same rules set by Koh for Apple, and that the next-generation iPhone and iPad would be examined by outside counsel only, and not shown to Samsung employees.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is gkeizer@computerworld.com .

Read more about drm and legal issues in Computerworld's DRM and Legal Issues Topic Center.


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