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Judge rejects Samsung patent trial requests

Samsung and Apple did not face off in court yesterday 2 August in their patent trial, but California district Judge Lucy Koh did make a few decisions regarding evidence-related requests from Samsung.

They were not, however, in the South Korean company's favour, so Samsung won't be able to make references to 2001: A Space Odyssey or older devices like the 1994 Fidler tablets, for example.

Samsung asked the court to reconsider several rulings handed down by Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in the past few months regarding the inclusion of certain evidence. Judge Koh, however, upheld Judge Grewal's decisions, which stemmed from Samsung's failure to produce certain evidence in a timely manner and burying other evidence in thousands of pages of documentation.

In June, Judge Grewal ruled that Samsung could not present portions of expert reports from three individuals because Samsung had not disclosed the information during the discovery process. Samsung had, in fact, submitted the details – but did so in a way that the court said would be impossible for Apple to find them. In this ruling, Judge Koh has agreed.

"For example, buried among 29,000 pages of documents, Samsung inserted the Nokia Fingerprint, a prior art reference in support of invalidity that Judge Grewal struck from Samsung's expert report," Koh wrote.

Another piece of evidence, meanwhile, regarding prior art "contained 595 prior art references comprising 5,600 pages of documents," Koh continued. "It would have been difficult, if not impossible, for Apple to have known which prior art reference and evidence were intended to support which theory, without Samsung amending its response ... in a timely manner."

Judge Koh also denied Samsung's request to reference films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and the TV series Tomorrow People. Apple is arguing that Samsung copied its design for the iPad, but Samsung claims that rectangular tablets existed long before 2010, when the iPad debuted. In the movie 2001, for example, which came out in 1968, "two astronauts are eating and at the same time using personal computer tablets," according to a 2011 Samsung filing.

Samsung's efforts to reference the film, however, were thrown out on a technicality. Initially, Samsung used 2001 as a "general discussion" point and failed to say that the film demonstrated that Apple's patents were invalid. It changed course later, but it was too late.

"That Samsung changed tack after the close of fact discovery to include these references in their invalidity theories likely prejudiced Apple, who was not made aware during the preliminary injunction proceeding that Samsung intended to rely on these two prior art references for invalidity," Koh wrote.

For the same reason, Koh excluded the 1994 Fidler tablets and the Compaq TC1000 from evidence.

Meanwhile, Samsung this year failed to produce all the source code for its devices, as required by the court, by the set deadline. It eventually turned over that source code, but Judge Grewal ruled that the delay did not give Apple proper time to examine it and, therefore, excluded all the data from evidence.

Samsung asked the court to reconsider and allow the evidence that it turned over on time to be allowed – specifically, source code for a re-designed bounce back feature. Judge Koh was not persuaded, however, because Samsung still violated the order by turning over the source code late.

Samsung and Apple, meanwhile, are fighting over Samsung's decision to provide the press with access to evidence that Judge Koh had dismissed. Apple wants Samsung sanctioned, but Samsung said it did nothing improper.