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Apple, Samsung ordered to reduce size of patent case

The companies, which are suing each other over their smartphone and tablet products, have been ordered to pare down the claims by Monday, according to a PC World report.

Apple and Samsung have been given a Monday deadline to pare down the number of claims each plans to make in their intellectual-property lawsuits against each other.

Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California today ordered the companies, which are suing each other over smartphone and tablet products, to reduce the size of the case to make it more manageable for a jury to consider, according to a PC World report.

Apple and Samsung each offered to drop claims from the case, but a lack of cooperation left 16 patents, six trademarks, five "trade dress" claims, and an antitrust case, according to the report.

"I think that's cruel and unusual punishment to a jury, so I'm not willing to do it," Judge Koh said. "If you're going to trial in July, this is not going to be acceptable."

The case is scheduled to go to trial on July 30, but Koh suggested that if the companies don't present a more workable set of claims, the trial start date could be delayed until next year.

Koh has expressed a desire for the companies to try to settle some of their differences out of court. In April, she referred the two companies to a magistrate judge settlement conference that would take place before the trial's scheduled start date. According to the referral, both Samsung's and Apple's CEOs will be at the settlement session, as well as their general counsels.

The companies have butted heads over everything from the claims presented in the case to how things will be presented in the courtroom. Apple recently filed a motion to obscure the Samsung logo on the court's video displays and ban any statements attributed to Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, author of the recent biography about the late Apple leader.

Meanwhile, the Korean mobile phone maker wants to exclude a pair of Apple experts and any "Apple-related blogs and articles by non-expert newspaper reporters, regarding any assessment of Apple and Samsung and/or their products."

This long-running legal confrontation began in April 2011 when Apple filed a lawsuit in California accusing Samsung of copying "the look and feel" of its iPad tablet and iPhone smartphone. "Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smartphone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple's technology, user interface, and innovative style in these infringing products," Apple complained.

Samsung quickly responded with a countersuit against Apple, taking the fight overseas to South Korea, Japan, and Germany.