(CN) - Apple must take steps to prove that it provided the best-available images to Samsung Electronics for pretrial discovery in the companies' patent dispute, a federal judge ruled.
Samsung had claimed in a hearing earlier this month that Apple did not provide the clearest available copies of iPhone and iPad photographs and product mockups. The Korean technology giant has panned the images Apple submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in support of the application for patent number D504,889, which Apple says is the basis for its claim to have invented the tablet computer.
The companies are locked in a worldwide intellectual property fight that started in April when Apple sued Samsung over smartphones and tablet computers that allegedly "slavishly copy" the design and function of Apple's iPhone and iPad products.
A federal judge in San Jose, Calif., said Wednesday that Apple has already met most of Samsung's discovery demands.
"Yet Samsung is correct that Apple's explanation of its search locations and parameters remains insufficient to afford Samsung finality, or the opportunity to suggest additional locations that might reasonably contain clearer versions of the images sought," U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal wrote.
To comply, Apple must stipulate that the specific model identified by an Apple industrial designer during deposition is the same model or mockup appearing in the photographs supporting Apple's application for the tablet computer patent.
Apple also has to stipulate that the photographs it has produced are the highest quality available, the ruling says. Finally, it must "identify specifically which custodians' files were searched, any search terms that were used, and the time frame included in those searches."
The order resolves one of the many pretrial skirmishes in the two companies' patent dispute, as the court still considers whether to block Samsung from selling its Galaxy phones and computer tablets in the United States.
Michael Jacobs, Harold McElhinny, Jason Bartlett and Grant Kim with Morrison & Foerster represent Apple.
Charles Verhoeven, Victoria Maroulis and Kevin P.B. Johnson with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan represent Samsung.
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