Judge Lucy Koh has ordered Apple and Samsung to scale back the number of claims in their patent infringement lawsuits, and warned both sides that failing to do so could delay their trial until some time in 2013. As of now, their patent infringement trial is scheduled for July 30 of this year.
With some 37 products listed in the lawsuits, along with 16 patents, five trademarks and an antitrust claim, Judge Koh told both companies that a jury shouldn’t have to deal with this, according to Computerworld.
“I think that’s cruel and unusual punishment to a jury, so I’m not willing to do it,” she said. “If you’re going to trial in July, this is not going to be acceptable.”
Apple and Samsung are both claiming the other company is refusing to cooperate in reducing the number of claims in the case, and Apple told the court that while it wants the trial to stay on schedule, Samsung doesn’t.
Apple and Samsung have been involved in a months-long patent infringement battle in courts around the world over allegations that each side is using mobile patents without proper licensing. At one point Apple’s attorneys claimed in court that Samsung has been “slavishly” copying the iPhone and iPad designs.
The two companies are scheduled to discuss a possible out of court settlement later this month at the urging of Judge Koh. The CEOs from Apple and Samsung will be involved in the negotiations, although there isn’t any guarantee they will reach an agreement.
Assuming the talks fall apart, Apple’s legal team assured the court it wants to keep the trial on schedule. “We will do whatever we need to do to hold the trial date,” said Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny.
Judge Koh also set a tentative trial date of March 31, 2014 for another lawsuit where Apple is suing Samsung for patent infringement.