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Judge Koh Asks Samsung And Apple To Suspend Their Second Dispute Until The First One Is Resolved

February 15, 2013 - Written By Joe Levin

Who’s up for some more patent news? The latest development in the never ending Apple Inc. VS Samsung Electronics Corporation smartphone patent wars has federal judge Lucy Koh asking the two parties to freeze their second dispute, which is currently awaiting a trial date, until an appeals court finishes up with hearing arguments of their first case. That trial as you may remember ended last summer with Apple winning big.

During a hearing yesterday in San Jose, California, Judge Koh said to the lawyers for both sides: “I was going to ask if we can stay this case while the other appeal is going on. Any possible resolution of the conflict will be “global” and cover technologies contested in both suits. I don’t know if we need two cases on this.” The attorneys were then instructed to have a joint status report ready by March 7th laying out their respective positions and to indicate whether they consent to putting the latter case on hold.

For their part Apple wants the case to go forward, no doubt because they feel that momentum is on their side after the first win. William Lee of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale, representing Apple said “From Apple’s point of view, the cases are different”. While one of Samsung’s lawyers feels that there is “quite a bit of overlap” in the two cases, and want the case put on the back burner.

The lawsuit in question was filed last February and has Apple contending that Samsung has been cutting into their profits by “deliberately copying of Apple’s innovative iPhone and iPad products”. This suit includes different patents from the first case and includes Samsung’s flagship smartphone the Galaxy S III.

The lawyers were actually in court on Tuesday in order to give judge Koh the guidelines on how they each want her to explain the patent terminology to the jury, If it ever goes to them. This was something that she had requested the two sides agree upon before taking the case further.

There are a total of 16 patents in dispute this time. One of the patents that was brought up was number 5,666,502, the “history list” patent. This is what you see with your on screen keyboard offering suggestions before you finish typing the full word. Samsung is arguing that this technology goes all the way back to Windows ’95 and developer tool Turbo C++, both of which did essentially the same thing before Apple.

Additionally both companies are appealing rulings requiring them to reveal financial information. Apple says that the information will reveal “treasured trade secrets” by giving out data on marketing strategies. Those cases will be heard at the end of March.