Apple, Samsung asked to temporarily freeze patent dispute

Will Apple and Samsung agree to delay their smartphone patent battle?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Judge Lucy Koh has asked both tech giants to put their latest smartphone patent case on hold while an appeals court reviews an earlier judgement.

According to Bloomberg, presiding Californian judge Lucy Koh have asked both tech giants to mutually agree to the delay for the new trial. Two major cases are currently on the U.S. books at the same time, and the judge is not sure whether that needs to be the case.

"I was going to ask if we can stay this case while the other appeal is going on," Koh said at a hearing in San Jose, California yesterday. "I don’t know if we need two cases on this."

An appeals court is currently reviewing an August verdict based on a February filing by Apple, which requests the court to prevent the sale of certain Samsung products which were found to infringe on the iPad and iPhone maker's patents in the dispute which won Apple $1.05 billion in damages. However, Samsung has yet to file a response, and the process is likely to take some time.

Last month, Apple's bid to squeeze an additional $500 million in damages was rejected in a post-trial ruling. The judge decided that Samsung did not "wilfully" infringe on Apple's patents -- which removed the point that Apple could use to argue for more money. However, Samsung was also unimpressed with the original $1.05 billion damage award, and attempted to argue for millions to be taken off their bill.

Lawyers for both sides must submit their acceptance or rejection of the proposal to delay the latest battle by March 7. The newest court case, which is still scheduled for trial in March 2014, covers newer smartphones -- including the Galaxy S III and iPhone 5 -- and a fresh wave of patent infringement accusations.

The Apple v. Samsung patent dispute has spanned across courtrooms worldwide, and smaller spats across the globe are all contributing to the overall fight between the rival smartphone and tablet makers.

Samsung has recently announced a new line of "smart" feature phones aimed at consumers in India, the REX series. Now taking on rival handset maker Nokia to attract emerging markets with less to spend, but large demographics, the REX series will also be released in China and South America. Apple, on the othet hand, is rumored to be working on an "iWatch," which could see the Cupertino giant break into the wearable computing industry. 

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