Samsung plans to drag iPhone 5 into patent suit against Apple

Apple will retaliate by extending its case to encompass the Galaxy Note 10.1 and the Android Jelly Bean operating system

Samsung Electronics intends to drag the iPhone 5 into an ongoing patent lawsuit with Apple, according to documents filed with a U.S. court on Wednesday. Apple, for its part, expects to extend its suit to include the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the latest version of Android, Jelly Bean.

The companies revealed their plans in a joint case management conference statement filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, on Wednesday.

Apple said it plans to extend its claims of infringement to include Samsung products released since the last case management conference in May. Having evaluated the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet and the OS used in it, Android 4.1, Apple said it believes both infringe on the patents at issue, and intends to amend its suit accordingly.

Samsung has not had the same opportunity to examine the iPhone 5, as it does not go on sale until Friday, but the company said that based on information provided by Apple since the launch of the iPhone 5 on Sept. 12, it believes the new phone infringes on its patents in the same way as earlier models. Samsung anticipates filing amendments to extend its accusations of patent infringement to include the iPhone 5 as soon as it has had an opportunity to analyze the device, it said.

This is not the only patent lawsuit Samsung and Apple are fighting in the San Jose court. While this one has not yet reached trial, the jury in the other case found largely in Apple's favor last month, handing Samsung a bill for US$1 billion in damages.

The suit at issue here was filed in February 2012. In it, Apple alleged that since the filing of its previous suit, in April 2011, Samsung had continued to release infringing products, including several models of the Galaxy S II phone and two tablets, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and the Galaxy Tab 8.9. Eight Apple patents were infringed by some or all of the Samsung products, it said, covering inventions including the use of gestures to unlock a device, data synchronization between devices and the management of missed calls.

Samsung refuted the validity of the Apple patents, denied infringement, and accused Apple's iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and new iPad infringed some of its patents. It named eight patents in its counterclaim in April, including one on touchscreen keyboards and one on remote volume controls.

Both parties sought damages, and injunctions on distribution of the accused products.

In the latest filing, both parties to the case asked that a case management conference scheduled for next week be postponed until November or December.

The case is scheduled to go to trial at the end of March 2014.

Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at peter_sayer@idg.com.

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