by Mike Masnick
Wed, May 25th 2011 7:00am
In the ongoing silly patent fight between Apple and Samsung, the judge has ordered Samsung to give Apple some pre-release products (found via Copycense). While we've seen similar things before, this kind of order always bothers me, as it just seems wrong to order a competitor to hand over pre-release versions of competitive products. What if it turns out there's no infringement? Apple still gets to play with Samsung's products before they even hit the market? Why is this kind of thing allowed? Apple's -- and the court's -- argument is that this allows Apple to stop any possible infringement before it hits the market, but it also seems like there can be significant harm in sharing still secret info with a direct competitor. Even more bizarre is the basis for the judge's claim: that news reports quoted Samsung execs saying they wanted to change the Galaxy Tab to compete with the iPad 2. So what? In what way is it wrong for a competitor to shift gears once a new product hits the market? That's competition. What doesn't seem fair is Apple getting pre-release access to Samsung's products.
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