Judge Limits Android Jelly Bean in Apple, Samsung Patent Case

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal allowed Apple to add more products to its second patent infringement case with Samsung such as the Galaxy Note and Galaxy SIII, but stopped short of including Google's Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system.

Judge limits Android OS inclusion in Apple and Samsung patent fightJudge limits Android OS inclusion in Apple and Samsung patent fight

The court agreed to let Apple add Samsung devices that run the Jelly Bean operating system, but ruled that allowing the inclusion of Google's mobile device operating system in full would be far too encompassing and would reach beyond the scope of the lawsuit.

"Such an amendment would be overbroad and may sweep any number of Samsung devices using the Jelly Bean operating system into this suit," Judge Grewal said, according to Foss Patents. "Samsung also does not have any design control over the content of Jelly Bean as it is a Google Android product that Samsung itself did not develop."

He added that the "court will not permit a sweeping amendment that might apply to devices other than those properly tied to Samsung," implying that by allowing Apple to include Android 4.1 in its complaint it could potentially use that against other smartphone makers. Instead, the Judge chose to restrict the inclusion of Jelly Bean to Samsung's products.

"A blanket attack on Jelly Bean would also have created a situation in which Google would have made itself totally ridiculous if it had not done everything in its power to join the case as a co-defendant (or at the very least as a formal intervenor)," commented Florian Mueller of Foss Patents.

Apple and Samsung have been fighting in courts around the world over accusations that they are using each other's mobile device patents without proper licensing. Apple recently won a major victory in U.S. Federal Court when a jury ruled the company wasn't infringing on Samsung's patents, while also ruling that Samsung willfully infringed on Apple's patents.

Judge Grewal is serving as a mediator in the current case which will be heard by Judge Lucy Koh, who also handled the previous patent trial where Apple was also awarded US$1 billion in damages. Samsung is appealing that ruling.