US Judge Lucy Koh has postponed any decision to permanently ban sales of Samsung's mobiles until 6 December - just in time for the Christmas rush. The request to remove Sammy's gear from shop shelves came from Apple, which had just trounced its tech rival in their ongoing epic patent lawsuit.
The judge said that since both parties were furiously filing post-trial motions already, and she expected that they would keep doing so, she was going to push the hearing on Apple's motion for permanent injunctions on Samsung products back into the winter season.
That hearing will also hear requests for the judge to overturn some or all of the jury's verdict against Samsung. The South Koreans, who were accused of copying Apple's iPhone designs, could file claiming that the whole verdict is hogwash for one reason or another. Apple may file to overturn the jury's decision that Sammy's Galaxy Tab 10.1 didn't infringe on its patents.
Apple asked the court on Monday for preliminary injunctions on eight Samsung phones, and the hearing about those bans was originally scheduled for September 20. Judge Koh didn't make it clear whether the temporary bans were still going to be discussed on that date or not. She did say that Samsung's motion to end the temporary ban on the Tab 10.1, which was not found to be infringing on Apple patents, would be heard if necessary on September 20.
"Having considered the scope of Apple’s preliminary injunction request, the additional post-trial motions that the parties have already filed and will file, and the substantial overlap between the analysis required for Apple’s preliminary injunction motion and the parties’ various other post-trial motions, the Court believes consolidation of the briefing and hearing on the post-trial motions is appropriate," the judge ordered.
She also slapped page-count limits on all of the companies' filings, and made it clear that she wasn't going to be fooled by any attempts to slip in extra information on the sly.
"Any supporting documentation shall be for corroboration purposes solely and shall not be used as a vehicle for circumventing the Court’s page limits," she said. "Any citations to the record must include the relevant testimony or exhibit language. Any single-spaced bullets in an attempt to circumvent the briefing page limits will be disregarded."
Judge Koh has had slim patience for both sides' attempts to swamp the court in information and repeatedly asked them before and during the trial to cut back on their filings, narrow their claims, call fewer witnesses and keep their courtroom presentations short.
The trial ended rather abruptly last week, when the jury decided after just three days of deliberation to uphold most of Apple's claims against Samsung. They awarded Cupertino's Xerox PARC raider more than a billion dollars in damages, which Apple can request the judge triple, and opened the door to bans on all of Samsung's products in the case.
Sammy's Galaxy SIII is not listed in the case, but the law allows Apple to link the phone to this jury's verdict without a new trial in something called a "contempt proceeding". The SII in its various US iterations is listed and is one of the phones Apple wants a preliminary ban on now while it waits for the permanent injunction.
Samsung will argue that no bans should be enforced until it can get through its efforts to have the verdict overturned or appeal the ruling. ®