SAN JOSE (CN) – Samsung Electronics says a pending federal court motion by Apple is an attempt to run an “end around the competition in the marketplace” and learn details about several of Samsung’s cell phone models before they hit the market.
“To force Samsung to hand over to its fierce competitor information concerning its unreleased products would put Samsung at an extraordinary competitive disadvantage,” Samsung says in fighting a motion by apple to expedite discovery.
Apple sued Samsung last month and filed a motion to expedite discovery and require production of documents and witnesses by today. The early skirmish over evidence in the case was argued before Judge Lucy Koh last week and she has promised a written ruling on the matter, which is now pending.
In its complaint, Apple alleges patent and trademark infringement, claiming that Samsung had designed and made products that are confusingly similar to Apple’s iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone, and that the products use similar icons as Apple does.
“Instead of pursuing independent technology development, Samsung has chosen to slavishly copy Apple’s innovative technology, distinctive user interfaces, and elegant and distinctive product and packaging design,” says Apple’s lawsuit. Within four days after filing the suit, Apple asked for expedited discovery that would produce samples of Samsung’s mobile devices.
“Samsung’s relentless copying of Apple’s intellectual property must be stopped,” argues Apple.
In its opposition, Samsung says, “The motion does not detail the alleged irreparable harm Apple would suffer and does not support these allegations with any evidence in the form of either expert declarations or testimony from anyone at Apple,” Samsung says.
Samsung says in addition that Apple’s discovery requests are overbroad. Apple apparently seeks not only samples of five actual Samsung products before their commercial release, but also an extensive range of documents and marketing materials.
Apple was asking for production of the documents by today and deposition on Thursday, deadlines that Samsung calls “simply unworkable.”
“It would be extremely burdensome for Samsung to prepare for a deposition on the `design, function and operation of the shells and graphical user interfaces of the Galaxy S2, Galaxy 8.9, Galaxy 10.1, Infuse 4G and 4G LTE’,” says Samsung. “Apple should not be allowed to circumvent the competitive process by gaining advance access to its competitor’s unreleased products through litigation, and Samsung should not be ordered to suffer it.
In reply, Apple argues that it must act quickly, in order to discover what Samsung is up to.
“Such an order will allow Apple to assess the extent to which Samsung’s soon-to-be-released products will infringe Apple’s intellectual property rights before they become entrenched in the marketplace,” Apple says.
Harold McElhinny, Michael Jacobs, Jason Bartlett and Grant Kim with of Morrison & Foerster represent Apple Inc. and Charles Verhoeven, Victoria Maroulis, Crik Olson and Kevin P.B. Johnson with Quinn Emanuel represent Samsung Electronics Co.