Judge: Apple, Samsung Need A Lawsuit Freeze

A federal judge urged Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (SSNLF.PK) to agree to forget about their patent lawsuit scheduled for trial next year until the two companies’ appeal on a separate verdict can be dealt with.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh asked the two smartphone rivals if it was really necessary to start another major trial — scheduled for March 2014 — while the discussion on the famous jury verdict from their August case continues.

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

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Koh added that any possible resolution of the conflict would be “global” and cover patents being contested in either lawsuit.

A few aspects of the appeal from the August result remain active. Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict last year after a jury decided Samsung had violated six of its patents. However, the iPhone maker’s request for a permanent sales ban against several of the Korean company’s products was not granted. Apple has appealed that decision…

Separately, both companies are appealing rulings requiring them to reveal financial information they want to keep secret.

In the second lawsuit up for trial in March 2014, Apple has accused Samsung of violating a separate batch of patents. Samsung countersued, of course. The lawsuit, filed last year, covers newer smartphones that have been since released by both companies.

While Apple attorneys said the cases should proceed in parallel, Samsung accepted there was substantial “overlap.” Koh asked the two sides to discuss the idea and report back on March 7.

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