Newer Gadgets Excluded|in Apple-Samsung Suit

     SAN JOSE, Calif. (CN) – Apple cannot use the threat of future lawsuits to add the Samsung Galaxy S4 to its latest patent row, a federal magistrate ruled.
     The decision Friday notes that the presiding judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, previously ordered the parties to “narrow the size and scope of this case.”
     Samsung persuaded U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal adding other gadgets like the 2-month-old Galaxy S4 to the list of infringing products would require massive additional discovery.
     “Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court’s time and energy, which takes time away from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court’s attention,” Grewal wrote.
     “Judge Koh has been explicit with both parties that this case must be streamlined, which requires reducing the number of products and patents at issue – not increasing them,” he added. “Apple’s promise to substitute an already-accused patent for the Galaxy S4 does not solve the problem. Apple conflates a quantitative analysis with a qualitative one. The number of products may be the same, but as the court described the potential disputes revolving around Galaxy S4 are greater than whatever product it will replace because of its late addition.”
     Grewal also faced Apple’s threats of future litigation without blinking.
     “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,” the 47-page decision states. “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.”
     The magistrate also rejected Samsung’s attempt to add two of its products – the Galaxy S III Jelly Bean and the Galaxy Note II – to its defense list of products that practice its own patents. The South Korea-based company had argued that the Apple’s late addition of the products justified including them in its defense, but provided no other grounds other than what Grewal called “tit-for-tat.”
     A jury slapped Samsung with a $1 billion verdict for patent infringement last summer, though Judge Koh halved Apple’s take earlier this year after faulting jurors for ignoring her instructions when calculating the award.
     Both companies have already appealed numerous aspects of the first trial to the Federal Circuit, a Washington, D.C.-based court that handles patent cases. Koh ordered a new trial to determine the damages Apple deserves beginning Nov. 12 – rejecting Samsung’s request to retry the entire case.
     The proceedings in Magistrate Grewal’s courtroom are the prelude to the companies’ second showdown over claims that Samsung infringed features of Apple’s Siri voice assistant, among other issues. That trial begins – with Koh again at the helm – in March 2014.
     Both San Jose suits are two of several between the companies, which are waging a global war that spans five continents for technological domination.

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