Samsung denied access to iPhone 5, iPad 3

Apple's secrets stay safe - but could work against it

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A judge has ruled against giving Samsung early access to the unreleased Apple iPhone 5 and iPad 3.

The Korean company had 'demanded' to see the top secret products after Apple was granted access to five upcoming Samsung phones and tablets.

While Judge Lucy Koh put the kibosh on a sneak peek at the much-anticipated iPhone 5, she did warn that Samsung can still reference these unannounced products as part of its defence.

Upsetting the Apple cart

"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," she 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 of its current products, Apple opens itself up to these arguments."

Patent report specialists Foss Patents explains that the judge is hinting that a move by Apple to stop Samsung from selling its relevant products in the USA (preliminary injunction) could be effectively argued against using these defences.

At this point, though, Apple is probably just relieved to have plugged a potential iPhone 5 leak after last year's iPhone-4-found-in-a-bar fiasco.

From FOSS Patents via SlashGear