Judge denies Apple’s request to add the Galaxy S4 to its 2014 patent trial

June 27, 2013
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Apple-Samsung

Raise your hand if you are sick and tired of Apple and Samsung’s little patent war. I suspect there are quite a few hands raised up.

Not only is a trial date in the cards for re-calculating how much Samsung owes Apple from the first battle on U.S. soil, there is also a second infringement hearing scheduled for March 2014.

As Apple gears up for its second attack on Sammy in the U.S. courts, the Cupertino giant had hoped to convince the courts that the Samsung Galaxy S4 should be added to the list of infringing devices. Apple was even willing to remove one of the existing 22 devices to make room for the GS4.

Unfortunately for Apple, the courts aren’t going for it. In a ruling dated June 26th, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal officially turned down Apple’s request to add the Galaxy S4 to the lawsuit.

Here’s what the Judge had to say:

Throughout the hearing, Apple warned that excluding the Galaxy S4 would result in yet another case with more claims of infringement and would require Apple to continue to play, in counsel’s words, ‘whack-a-mole’ with Samsung. Apple presented the exact same argument to Judge Koh during an April 23, 2013 hearing during which she required them to set a schedule to drop products and patents. Judge Koh was not persuaded by this argument and neither is the undersigned.

Apple already needs to dismiss without prejudice several products from this case and so a new trial would be likely regardless. Given the likely undue prejudice to Samsung and Judge Koh’s directives regarding the management and progression of this case, the court DENIES Apple’s request to add the Galaxy S4 to its contentions.

Basically Judge Grewal determined that allowing Apple to add the GS4 to the list would not only further tax the court’s resources, but it also went against Judge Koh’s orders to slim down the number of infringing devices.

Another reason for not allowing the addition of the GS4 to the hearing is that it would cause “undue prejudice” to Samsung. Since the Galaxy S4 hasn’t been on the market for very long, requiring Samsung to throw together the information needed in time for the case wouldn’t be fair.

Lastly, Grewal points out that no matter what happens, Apple is going to have to slim down some of the devices from the March 2014 lawsuit. This means that a third infringement trial is all but guaranteed, so why can’t Apple wait until then to bring up Samsung’s latest flagship?

Regardless of what happens, the Samsung/Apple wars are far from over. We can’t say we are surprised.

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