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Judge overseeing Apple-Samsung lawsuits requests temporary 'ceasefire'

The judge presiding over the ongoing patent infringement between litigation Apple and Samsung Electronics [corporate websites] requested on Thursday that both sides call a "cease fire" on introducing new suits against the other until after she has determined if a previous $1.05 billion judgment awarded to Apple will be reduced. Judge Lucy Koh of the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website] has indicated [San Jose Mercury News report] that she is considering setting aside the judgment of the jury and awarding Apple a smaller settlement amount calling arguments made by lawyers for Samsung "persuasive." Koh is also considering arguments from Apple's lawyers that Samsung should not be permitted to continue to sell devices the jury determined to be infringing on Apple patents. Koh has suggested she will have her ruling on the financial award given Apple as well as and injunctions on Samsung sales restrictions before the end of the year. An appeal by both parties is likely unless a settlement is brokered between the parties.

The request by Koh is the most recent event in a protracted patent litigation battle [JURIST op-ed] with Samsung that spans over four continents. In October a judge for the US International Trade Commission [official website] issued a preliminary ruling [JURIST report] that Samsung infringed four of Apple's patents relating to smartphone design and touchscreen technology. Also in October the Dutch Rechtbank's-Gravenhage [official website, in Dutch] court ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple software patent. In the same month a UK court also ruled that Samsung did not infringe [JURIST report] on an Apple design patent. Also in October, Apple defeated [JURIST report] patent infringement claims made by Samsung in Japan, overcoming Samsung's attempt to enjoin iPhone sales in the country. At the beginning of October, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed an injunction [JURIST report] against Samsung that prevented it from selling its Galaxy Nexus product. Earlier in August, Apple won a $1.05 billion judgment [JURIST report] in the Northern District of California against Samsung involving other patent infringements.

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