Apple, Samsung Can Escalate Patent War, but Android OS Is Off-Limits

Published on November 16, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Image by Joy of Tech

The already sprawling legal battle between Apple and Samsung grew broader this week when a California court allowed both companies to expand their allegations of patent infringement to newer products.

Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said late Thursday that Samsung can add the iPhone 5 to its infringement claims against Apple, and Apple can add the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Nexus, which runs the latest version of Google’s Android operating system — Jelly Bean.

Grewal, however, quashed Apple’s attempt to bring a blanket claim against the OS, saying Jelly Bean is a Google product, not a Samsung one.

“Samsung also does not have any design control over the content of Jelly Bean as it is a Google Android product that Samsung itself did not develop,” Grewal wrote. “The court will not permit a sweeping amendment that might apply to devices other than those properly tied to Samsung. … The court will allow this proposed amendment, but only as to the Jelly Bean product Apple has specified: the Galaxy Nexus.”

By granting the two companies’ requests to include newer products, Grewal is dramatically expanding their current case, but he’s also reducing the likelihood of additional lawsuits over those devices. Not that that will make the Smartphone IP Hundred Years War between Apple and Samsung any more manageable. The battle rages on, with no end in sight.

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal as Judge Paul Grewal.

Return to: Apple, Samsung Can Escalate Patent War, but Android OS Is Off-Limits