Skip to main content

Judge allows Samsung and Apple to list iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 in ongoing patent case

If you needed any proof that Apple will not kiss and make up with Samsung like it did with HTC, a judge has allowed both companies to add each other's flagship devices to an ongoing patent case in California.

Judge Paul S. Grewal last week approved a request to add the iPhone 5 as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, the Galaxy S3, and the Android Jelly Bean OS to the case.

Judge Grewal found that adding the gadgets does not significantly alter the case.

"Samsung's amendment does not seek to add new claims or theories of infringement, but merely adds another device that has the same accused functionality as the previous versions of the iPhone," he wrote. "As a result, Apple's analysis in defending against Samsung's contentions should remain largely the same."

Apple's requests, meanwhile, are "markedly similar" to those made by Samsung, Judge Grewal concluded.

Apple previously added the UK version of the Galaxy S3 to the case, and sought to update the filing once the US version was released. The judge found that Apple was diligent in investigating the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 and notifying Samsung of its intention to add the device to the case.

"Samsung will not be prejudiced because these differences do not change infringement theories, nor will they require Samsung to prepare additional defenses," the judge said.

Apple also sought to have the Android Jelly Bean operating system added to its case, but the judge only gave Apple a partial victory there. Apple failed to move quickly after the release of the OS over the summer, and wasn't very specific about the infringement.

"Samsung would be prejudiced by the lack of specificity in Apple's proposed amendment because it will not have notice to the claims it must defend against," Judge Grewal found. "Moreover, as Samsung correctly noted, such an amendment would be overbroad and may sweep any number of Samsung devices using the Jelly Bean operating system into this suit."

Samsung doesn't have any design control over Jelly Bean since it is handled by Google, the judge continued. As a result, the inclusion of Jelly Bean in the suit will only be allowed as it relates to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

Apple and Samsung have been battling over patents since April 2011, when Apple sued Samsung for "slavishly" copying its iPad and iPhone with its Galaxy line-up. In August, Apple was handed a major victory when a California jury ruled in its favour and handed down a $1.05 billion (£650 million) judgement against Samsung.

This case, however, is separate from the case that was tried in August, though it is moving through the same court. It dates back to February 2012, when Apple sued Samsung (again) over eight patents; Samsung countersued over eight patents of its own. The two sides will be back in court on 14 December, but the case is not expected to go to trial until March 2014, so don't expect the patent wars to die down anytime soon.