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Judge tosses trio of Samsung phones from Apple case

Three of Samsung's allegedly infringing "world phones" won't be further examined in the company's U.S. patent fight with Apple, a judge ruled today.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Samsung scored a minor victory in court this afternoon when the judge in its patent fight with Apple excluded three of its allegedly infringing phones from the case against the two U.S.-based parts of its business.

U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh excluded the Galaxy Ace, Galaxy S i9000, and Galaxy S II i9100 -- all world phones that could be purchased in the U.S., but that weren't sold by Samsung's telecommunications and electronics divisions in the U.S.

The decision, which still leaves Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. (the Korean arm of Samsung's business) on the hook, came at the end of Apple's case against Samsung, which marks a turning point in the trial. It is now Samsung's turn to go on offense. So far, Samsung has spent more of its time cross-examining Apple's witnesses than Apple has spent questioning them in the first place. Those witnesses have included top executives as well as experts in design and marketing.

Apple claimed that the three devices infringed on its patents, as well as the look and feel of the iPhone, though they only account for a fraction of Apple's complaint against Samsung. The company originally cited more than 20 phones and two of Samsung's tablets.

Samsung is expected to wrap up its half of the case by next Tuesday, with jury deliberations to follow.

Per Apple's exhibits, here are shots of the three devices:


Updated at 8:11 p.m. PT with images of the devices, and clarification on the order.