By Dan Levine
SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb 21 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on
Thursday said Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd must
narrow a patent lawsuit that involves Apple search technology,
adding that she would put the case on hold if the two companies
could not agree.
Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict last year against Samsung
in a California trial court, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh
rejected Apple's request for a permanent sales ban against
several Samsung phones. Apple has appealed and a ruling is not
expected until September at the earliest.
Apple also accused Samsung in a second lawsuit of violating
a separate batch of patents, including the rights to search
technology that is part of the iPhone Siri voice feature. That
case is scheduled for trial in March 2014.
At a hearing in San Jose federal court on Thursday, Koh said
each company would be allowed to assert 25 claims, involving a
maximum of 25 products each.
"Just take your best shots," Koh said. "I don't want a lot
of sausage filler."
Last week Koh had asked the companies to consider whether
the case should be put on hold until after the appeals court
rules on the first lawsuit.
On Thursday, Samsung attorney Kevin Johnson said the company
would ask Koh to suspend the lawsuit. Apple lawyer Josh Krevitt
said the iPhone maker would oppose Samsung's request.
Koh said she would consider Samsung's motion when it is
filed. However, if the case does proceed she said it would have
to get smaller.
"As this case as it is currently framed, I'm refusing to go
forward," Koh said.
The worldwide legal fight between Apple and Samsung has been
viewed in part as a proxy war between Apple and Google Inc.
Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets run on Google's Android
The case is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, U.S.
District Court, Northern District of California, No. 12-630.
For Apple: Josh Krevitt, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and William
For Samsung: William Price and Kevin Johnson, Quinn Emanuel
Urquhart & Sullivan.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook