November 16, 2012
Judge Allows Apple And Samsung To Add More Products Into Their New Suit
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Round two of what eventually became known as #AppSung is getting under way as Apple and Samsung get their legal ducks in a row. As a part of their filing process and discovery, the two companies are working out which of one another´s products they´d like to include in their second California suit. The showdown, which is set to take place in 2014, will even occur in the same courtroom as their previous battle from this summer.
Late Thursday evening, Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal agreed to let these 2 warring factions add even more products to their suits, saying both companies were “diligent in amending” their previous claims against one another.
Though the courtroom, the judge and the players will be the same, this is indeed a separate lawsuit. Apple started this particular skirmish in February when they sued Samsung for violation of patents concerning autocorrect and screen unlocking technology, particularly in the Google Nexus smartphone. Samsung quickly returned fire with a countersuit.
With Judge Grewal´s permission, Apple has now added Samsung´s Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note 10.1 and the new Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.1. Samsung has finally been able to follow up with their September threat, lumping in the LTE enabled iPhone 5 to the suit.
Apple is essentially working to future proof this lawsuit by specifically calling out Android 4.1. As told by Florian Mueller in the Foss Patents blog, the decision to allow these new products in the suit is in line with the courts in northern California. It´s the patents being disputed, and if a company suspects these new products violate the same patents, they´re normally allowed to be thrown in. If a new product is released but not thrown in the suit, then a new suit must be filed. Apple is essentially referring to Google´s mobile OS as a “product” which violates some of their patents, and attempting to have the whole of Android 4.1 thrown into the suit as well. Therefore, any product in the future which runs Android 4.1 could have an injunction placed on it. Samsung rejected this move, of course, saying that, “such an amendment would be over-broad and may sweep any number of Samsung devices using the Jelly Bean operating system into this suit.”
The South Korean company also noted they do not design Android 4.1, only license it from Google. Judge Grewal, who is helping Judge Koh in the early stages of this process, agreed with Samsung and isn´t allowing Apple to take such broad strokes with their suit. He did, however, allow Apple to specifically mention 4.1, but only where it refers to the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Galaxy Nexus is no stranger to this suit: Apple fingered this product straight away in the very beginning. By specifically mentioning Android 4.1, they´ve also been able to include the updated version of this smartphone.
Apple did not make an opposition when Samsung added the iPhone 5 to their suit. He did, however, warn Apple against opposing any future amendments to the case, a move which was likely meant to prevent this case from running into the next decade.
“Given the early stage of this litigation and the reasoning of this order, the court notes that Apple should think twice before opposing similar amendments reflecting other newly released products – e.g. the iPad 4 and iPad mini – that Samsung may propose in the near future,” said Grewal in the court documents.