updated 03:15 am EDT, Fri June 8, 2012
Move could backfire on Apple, delaying trial
Apple yesterday petitioned Judge Lucy Koh's court for a temporary restraining order against Samsung, asking for an emergency hearing that could delay its trial against the company. The move could help Apple block Samsung's planned June 21 launch of the Galaxy S III in the US, but could also come at a cost: the judge warned Apple that a new hearing would likely cause the formal trial to be delayed, possibly by months, in order to balance her caseload.
Koh told Apple and Samsung yesterday that she wanted both companies to tell her how the Galaxy S III is "colorably different" from the potentially patent-violating Samsung Nexus, in response to Apple's request to block the US launch of the Samsung phone. She will allow some rapid conversation between Apple and Samsung to come to a decision before the release date of the S III.
Judge Koh informed the two companies that she "wanted to give some notice that I cannot be an 'Apple versus Samsung' judge," adding "I just don't have the human bandwidth" to deal with the escalating scope of the trial. She informed Apple that if it chose to pursue the restraining order, she would likely shift the July 30 trial date to a much later date.
Apple's attorney, Josh Krevitt, said a temporary order barring Galaxy S III sales in the US will generate "a mechanism to allow the court to decide this issue before the launch." Samsung lawyer Bill Price objected, telling the judge that there was no emergency requiring the cancellation of the launch, and added that Apple was just attempting to "prevent a phone from getting to the public that is better than Apple's in many, many respects."
Regardless of the suit, Apple considers Samsung to be an excellent supplier to work with, despite being problematic in court. Judge Koh's schedule is being strained by the multiple infringement cases between Apple and Samsung in her court. Hearings continue tomorrow and next week on the Galaxy S III release.
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