The ongoing patent spat between Apple and Samsung has taken a nasty turn.
The tit-for-tat battle in which Apple has accused Samsung of ripping off its designs, and Samsung has turned around and said, 'well what about you then', turned into a playground farce today with Apple calling Samsung a 'copyist' and bemoaning its 'attempts to harrass' the Cupertino company.
It all stems from court filings in which Apple asked to see a number of Samsung devices - which have been announced to the waiting world - in advance of an upcoming hearing.
In response, Samsung has basically said, 'if you want to see our new stuff we want to see the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3.'
Apple has, not so politely, declined Samsung's request, not least on the grounds that, apart from Internet tittle tattle, conjecture and wishful thinking, both of those products don't actually officially exist.
Now we all know that the release of an iPhone 5 and iPad 3 is all but inevitable, and so does Samsung, but the only way you'd get pre-production prototypes out of the notoriously secretive Apple would be to prise it from Steve Jobs' cold, dead hands. Unless you happened to find one left on a barstool by a drunken Apple drone, of course.
Biazarreley, Apple says it is the 'Master' of this case and that Samsung is merely a 'copyist'.
According to the ever-astute FOSS Patents (opens in new tab), which has a less-simplified examination of the affair, Apple thinks Samsung's requests lack a reasonable basis and go way beyond those asked for, and granted by a court, to Apple.
Samsung says it doesn't want to look at Apple's forthcoming products for what would amount to court-sanctioned industrial espionage, it just wants to have a little look to make sure Apple hasn't nicked any of its great new ideas.
Is it just us or does this whole sorry saga smack just a little bit of two naughty schoolboys attempting to swap a favourite toy in the school yard?
'You hand yours over first."
'No... you first."
"OK... we'll both do it together."
Quite frankly, taking into consideration that Apple spends huge amounts of money on Samsung components for pretty much all of its expensive toys, we would have hoped they could play nicely together.
With any luck the judge in the case will give them both a sturdy clip 'round the ear and make them shake hands before sending them to bed with no supper.