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Judge says Apple's Siri case against Samsung can proceed

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh had said last month that a second patent case pitting Apple against Samsung in Northern California might be put on hold. Now she says otherwise.

The U.S. federal judge presiding over the landmark patent suit between Apple and Samsung in Northern California said today that a second Apple patent suit against Samsung -- involving Apple's Siri technology -- can go forward.

Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung last year in a San Jose, Calif., trial, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the iPhone maker's request for a permanent injunction against sales of offending Samsung devices. A separate suit filed by Apple accuses Samsung of violating a group of patents, including one related to Siri voice search technology.

Apple appealed Koh's rejection of the product ban in the first case, and last month, Koh said the second case -- the Siri case -- might be put on hold because the eventual ruling on the first case could resolve both cases.

"I just don't know if we really need two cases on this," Koh said at the time, according to a Reuters account of the proceedings.

Apple objected, and today Koh said the Siri case would not be suspended but that both companies must "significantly" simplify the scope of the case by reducing the number of legal claims and expert witnesses, Reuters reported.

The Siri case is scheduled to go to trial in March of next year. Apple's appeal on Koh's nixing of a product ban in the first, non-Siri, case is not expected to be resolved until September at the earliest.

Earlier this month, Koh cited jury error and reduced the damages in the first case by $450 million and ordered a new trial on the damages to recalculate them.