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Judge reminds Apple, Samsung to whittle down cases

Judge Koh again asks the legal combatants to pare down their sprawling array of patent claims against one another -- and then to settle the case.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Aiming to save the jury a headache, the judge in the trial between Apple and Samsung here once again reminded both sides to pare down some of the claims against one another and settle.

"Are there trades that can be made?" U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh asked lawyers from both companies, adding that she hoped there could be some "horse trading" between the two before the jury sits down to decide the winner.

Koh spent much of the week asking both companies to sort out some of the claims -- which center on patent infringement -- in order to shorten the instructions she'll have to provide to the jurors who will decide the case. Those instructions are currently a 100-page document that Koh estimates will take about an hour and a half to get through.

The judge's plea follows her polite request yesterday that Apple and Samsung CEOs call one another once more to talk settlement. "I see risks here for both sides," Koh said at the time, suggesting that the jury could end up coming down on both companies.

Today Koh said she was "pathologically optimistic" the two were going settle before it reaches that point.

At risk are billions of dollars and potential sales bans in the U.S. Apple's damages expert, who laid out the the monetary claims against Samsung earlier this week, estimated that Apple wants the South Korean technology giant to pay out between $2.5 billion and $2.7 billion. Samsung damages expert Michael Wagner, slated to testify today, will counter with Samsung's own figure.

The trial, now in its third week, is in its final stages. Samsung has just two and a half hours left to argue its case, while Apple has seven. Both companies then get two full hours to make their closing arguments on Tuesday next week, with jury deliberation to follow.

Complete coverage: Apple v. Samsung, a battle over billions