Judge green-lights Apple’s Siri case against Samsung

iOS 6 (Siri, Restaurants)

Apple and Samsung are still battling it out in post-trial hearings left over from last fall’s high-profile infringement trial. And they have another one coming up this year that involves a whole new range of devices.

But there’s alway room for another case in the world of patent lawsuits. And Judge Lucy Koh just gave Apple permission to move forward on a third lawsuit with Samsung here in the States involving its Siri patent…

Reuters reports:

“A judge on Friday refused to suspend Apple Inc’s patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, a case that includes search technology in Apple’s Siri voice assistant.

The ruling came from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California. Apple’s Siri lawsuit involves different patents than the case that went to trial in California last year.”

Koh mentioned last month that she might suspend the Siri case because she felt that it could be folded into the first lawsuit, saying “I just don’t know if we really need two cases on this.” But obviously she reversed course.

Apple won a settlement worth over $1 billion last August when a jury found Samsung guilty of several counts of patent infringement. But earlier this year, Judge Koh cut that amount in half, citing “impermissible legal theory.”

Of course, Apple will appeal the ruling, as it’s doing with the rejection of its sales ban request. But we won’t see the results for several months. In fact, the proceedings will likely postpone the start of its next v. Samsung trial.

But back to the Siri case. The infringement suit includes a couple of patents, but the big one has to do with the digital assistant. Apple believes Samsung infringes on its IP with its S-Voice feature, which is similar to Siri.

This trial is scheduled to begin in March of next year.

Wow, what a mess.