Samsung denied iPhone 5 access

A judge dealing with the ongoing spat between Samsung and Apple over mobile device production has presented some good news for Jobs’ lot.

Samsung has been demanding copies of the two new products ahead of release, seeking an order “compelling Apple to produce product samples, packaging, and packaging inserts for the next generation iPhone and iPad.”

Considering the recent legal disputes, Apple is obviously concerned that its rival will merely add an Android OS, slap a Samsung sticker on the front and send the thing straight out to shops.

The reason that Samsung had been demanding a preview of products was on the grounds that it had, following Apple’s own legal action, been forced to hand over its own products. It argued the same rules apply.

So the news that Samsung’s motion has been denied, for the time being, will come as a relief to Apple.

While the judge agreed in the court order that Samsung was entitled to parity with Apple, it was somewhat overreaching itself in this case.

With Samsung already having handed its products out to the public when it was forced to give Apple a peek, it was always a bit of a punt to try and get its hands on the much-anticipated iPhone 5.

However, as the case descends slowly into a farce there is another worry for Apple.

According to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, the judge hinted that a move to stop Samsung from selling its products could be affected by a need to compare against forthcoming devices.

Mueller believes that the following shows it may be difficult for Apple to impose a preliminary injunction.

“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,” the judge said.

“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 on its current products, Apple opens itself up to these arguments which could be used as defence by Samsung against an injuction on its own devices.

Despite apparent attempts to bury the hatchet, it seems the bickering is set to continue.