Judge rules Apple and Samsung may add Jelly Bean and iPhone 5 to patent suit

Bloomberg reports that a federal judge has ruled that Apple may add Jelly Bean, the latest and greatest version of the Android operating system powering smartphones and tablets, to its patent infringement claims asserted against Samsung. At the same time, the South Korean conglomerate was allowed to add the iPhone 5 to its suit as the company looks to retaliate for losing $1.05 billion in damages by targeting Apple’s latest handset. Though U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal allowed Apple to target the Jelly Bean software, the scope is limited to Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus devices…

Bloomberg reports:

The decision came in a second patent lawsuit between the two mobile device giants pending in San Jose, California. In an earlier lawsuit that went to trial in July, a jury found that Samsung infringed six of seven Apple patents at issue and awarded $1.05 billion in damages.

Judge Grewal advised Apple to “think twice before opposing similar amendments reflecting other newly released products, e.g. the iPad 4 and the iPad mini, that Samsung may propose in the future”.

AllThingsD relays the Judge’s reasoning as to why the Android OS remains off-limits:

Samsung also does not have any design control over the content of Jelly Bean as it is a Google Android product that Samsung itself did not develop. The court will not permit a sweeping amendment that might apply to devices other than those properly tied to Samsung. The court will allow this proposed amendment, but only as to the Jelly Bean product Apple has specified: the Galaxy Nexus.

This second Apple-Samsung lawsuit is scheduled for trial in the United States in 2014. Per court documents, the suit includes various iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch models and as much as nineteen Samsung devices, though lawyers for both camps moved to add additional products which came to market since the lawsuit was initially filed.

Patent expert Florian Müeler observed on his blog:

What Apple just achieved is that the updated version of the Galaxy Nexus running Jelly Bean will also be adjudged by the court.

In connection with other products than a Nexus gadget, it might also be useful to Apple if it could later claim that the court determined (if it so did) that the infringing component of the accused product is the Android operating system – but if a court finds a Nexus device to infringe a software patent, everyone in the industry knows that “stock Android” (Android as made available by Google, without vendor-specific enhancements) is at issue.

Of course, the court order may nevertheless trigger Google’s formal intervention.

Another hearing in December has been scheduled as Judge Lucy Koh gets to consider Apple’s sales ban on eight Samsung smartphone models and the 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab tablet.

Samsung claims the iPhone 5 violates its patents related to 4G wireless tech.

She will also determine whether the August ruling which saw the jury award Apple with $1.05 billion in damages should be overturned on the basis of Samsung’s juror misconduct claims.

The Galaxy maker will be holding an annual global strategy meeting on December 17-18. One of the topics of conversation between 200 executives and Samsung’s top dogs will be the company’s legal strategy in 2013 concerning Apple.

Samsung reportedly fired its vice president in charge of matters relating to Apple, an indication of a change of its legal approach. Another telling sign: mobile boss Shin Jong-kyun underscored Samsung is not interested in reaching an HTC-like licensing agreement with Apple.

We no longer have any intention of negotiating with Apple about patent issues.

Korean news organization The Chosun Ilbo earlier in the week claimed Samsung had raised Apple chip prices by 20 percent, a move analysts feared would hurt Apple’s margins. However, an unnamed Samsung executive denied allegations the following day.

And you thought legal matters between the two frenemies were resolved with that $1.05 billion ruling…