Judge to Apple: Adding Galaxy S4 to Samsung Suit Would Tax Court’s Time
If Apple wants to argue that Samsung’s new flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone violates its intellectual property, it’s going to have to file a new lawsuit — not simply add the device to an existing one. U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal ruled Thursday that adding yet another product to the second big U.S. patent case between the two companies would widen its scope too much and overburden the court’s resources.
Said Grewal, “Each time these parties appear in the courtroom, they consume considerable amounts of the court’s time and energy, which takes time away from other parties who also require and are entitled to the court’s attention.”
Back in May, Apple — ignoring a federal judge’s request that it limit the number of accused products in its second patent suit against Samsung — requested permission to add the Galaxy S4 to a list of 22 devices it believes infringe on its patents. But it proposed a compromise:
“Based on Apple’s analysis of the Galaxy S4,” Apple said, “Apple has concluded that it is an infringing device and accordingly intends to move for leave to add the Galaxy S4 as an infringing product. Upon the grant of such motion, Apple will eliminate (without prejudice) one of the Accused Products named herein, so that it will continue to accuse only 22 products of infringement at this stage of the litigation.”
But that pledge wasn’t enough to ease Grewal’s concerns that adding a new device at this point in the case would needlessly complicate matters.
“Judge Koh has been explicit with both parties that this case must be streamlined, which requires reducing the number of products and patents at issue — not increasing them,” Grewal wrote. “The number of products may be the same, but as the court described, the potential disputes revolving around Galaxy S4 are greater than whatever product it will replace because of its late addition.”