Tuesday morning in a downtown San Jose courtroom Judge Lucy Koh held the second to last pretrial conference for Apple and Samsung’s case. Apple sued Samsung for infringing patents and trademarks associated with the design of Apple’s tablet. Apple is demanding $2.5 billion. Samsung ‘s countersuit prompted Judge Koh to combine the two cases for a jury to decide starting next week.
Judge Koh was visibly upset when Samsung once again refused to cut down its list of witnesses and exhibits out of concern for the direction Apple’s case would take during the trial. Apple had already narrowed its case to two patents instead of seven. Samsung refused Koh’s request to bifurcate the affirmative and defensive cases into separate trials and claimed that a second trial would prejudice Samsung. In response Koh argued she has “bent over backwards” to allow Samsung to make an affirmative case against Apple even though she did not think Samsung’s countersuit was actually related to Apple’s initial complaints. “I feel frustrated,” Koh added as she told Samsung she could have sent Samsung’s case to another district judge. One reporter tweeted Koh looked “ready to throw [a] gavel at [the] wall.
In the end Samsung agreed to hold one trial on patent infringement for both companies. Judge Koh denied Apple’s request to change the jury instructions on trade dress, adding, “I’m not likely to deviate from model instructions.” A final hearing is set for Friday afternoon to discuss the motions to seal documents with attorney Karl Orson representing Reuters to oppose both companies’ requests for secrecy. Judge Koh noted that if the parties settle after 4:00 p.m. on Friday, “[she] will celebrate,” prompting laughter from the crowded courtroom. However, both sides would need to split the costs of the initial jury appearance.