Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Sure, Samsung, we all wish Apple would open its kimono

May 29, 2011: 10:39 AM ET

In a legal tit for tat, Samsung's patent attorneys demand copies of the iPhone 5 and iPad 3

Photo: fudocom.com

What Apple watcher hasn't wished he could do what Samsung's lawyers did Friday night in a California federal court: File expedited discovery papers demanding "samples of Apple's next-generation iPhone and iPad."

It was the latest move in nasty patent fight that Apple (AAPL) started last month when it accused Samsung of "slavishly copy[ing]" nearly every innovative feature of the iPhone and iPad, down to the icons on their screens and the boxes they come in. (See Steve Jobs would sue his sister...)

Samsung probably figured the request would play well in the court of public opinion, given that it came only a few days after a judge ordered Samsung to hand over pre-production samples of a long list of Samsung's Android devices so that Apple could determine whether they are covered by its suit.

But it's unlikely to play well in real court for all the reasons This is my next's Nilay Patel laid out in a long post Saturday night, starting with the fact that Apple hasn't breathed a word about its future product plans, whereas Samsung has been promoting its new smartphones and tablets all over the Internet. One of them, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, was handed out to each of the thousands of developers who attended Google's (GOOG) I/O conference two weeks ago.

Samsung, with its deep portfolio of cellular telephony patents, has some strong legal cards to play. This was not one of them.

The full text of Friday's filing is available here.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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