In the latest chapter in the ongoing global patent litigation between Apple and Samsung, the South Korean company has asked a local court to grant it access to the source code to iOS 6, claiming that only the code will tell whether Apple infringed its patents.
According to a report in The Korea Times on Friday, Apple's legal team was shocked by the request – shocked, we tell you – denouncing it as both "ridiculous" and "insane."
Earlier in the case, the court asked Apple to have its software engineers testify as to the inner workings of the iPhone and iPad OS, but Apple refused that request.
"It doesn't make any sense. Samsung is saying that we should give up our most important data," Cupertino's lawyers reportedly told the court.
But while Apple's reluctance to disclose its code to Samsung is understandable, the fruity firm's attorneys are being more than a little disingenuous when they claim Samsung's request is unprecedented. Disclosure of source code is actually quite common in technology patent suits, as Apple well knows.
Samsung knows it, too. The South Korean mobe maker made a similar demand in another patent suit against Apple in 2011, this one in Australia. The judge in that case granted the request, giving Samsung access to the source code to the iPhone 4S.
Presumably, Apple's lawyers were stunned and outraged by Samsung's tactic at that time, too – but not so much so that they weren't willing to try it themselves.
Later that same year, Apple scored a similar goal against Samsung, when it convinced a San José, California court to grant it access to the source code for Samsung's 4G smartphones and its Galaxy Tab 10.1 fondleslab.
In that instance, Apple was so adamant that Samsung's code was crucial to its case that after reviewing what Samsung delivered it filed a new motion with the court, claiming the South Korean firm had only "partially complied" with the court order.
And so it goes. Apple and Samsung are currently embroiled in more than 40 lawsuits in the US, Europe, Asia, and Australia, as each tries to use the courts to gain market advantage over the other.
In the particular case now being argued in the Seoul Central District Court, Samsung is claiming that Apple infringed its patents by implementing a feature that allows iPhone users to review message updates by swiping the upper end of the screen.
A court official told The Korea Times that the judge has yet to decide whether to grant Samsung's request for Apple's source code. ®