Apple has somehow managed to get a court to tell rival Samsung to hand over five of its as-yet-unreleased gadgets after Apple claimed they look like its own products.
Apple claims some of Samsung's handheld products look a lot like its own iPhone,iPod Touch and iPad and thinks consumers might get confused.
It said as much to a U.S. court and asked a judge to get Samsung to hand over products the Korean outfit is preparing to launch. The judge agreed Apple had "demonstrated good cause for some, limited expedited discovery".
Apple is likely to seek a preliminary injunction to stop Samsung flogging the products in the U.S. The named products are Samsung's Galaxy S2, the Galaxy Tab 8.9, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Infuse 4G, and the Droid Charge. San Jose, Federal Court judge, Lucy Koh, gave Samsung 30 days to hand over the gadgetry.
Koh said Samsung had been showing off the gadgets to the press and other shady characters and even gave away some 5,000 Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices to folk who turned up at Google's I/O conference earlier this month.
Apple showed the judge a news report in which a Samsung executive said his firm wanted to make the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet thinner, after Apple showed off its iPad 2.
In documents dug up by Courthouse News, Judge Kuo said: "In particular, the design and appearance of Samsung’s forthcoming products and packaging are directly relevant to Apple’s trademark, trade dress, and design claims. Because these claims are subject to consumer confusion and “ordinary observer” standards, the products themselves and the packaging in which they are sold are likely to be central to any motion for preliminary injunction."
Samsung's claims that handing over its forthcoming products to a rival to pore over would put it as a competitive disadvantage, were dismissed by the judge since, she said, Samsung has “already released images and samples of its forthcoming products to the media and members of the public.”