Judge Lucy Koh of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California asked Apple and Samsung in a hearing today if Apple's suit over Siri search technology should wait until an appeals court rules on a separate suit. Koh told attorneys for both companies that the appeals court would cover both lawsuits. Apple believes that the cases should proceed, as they both involve Apple's Siri voice-enabled search technology, but different patents. Samsung attorney Victoria Maroulis claims that there is substantial overlap between the two trials.
"I just don't know if we really need two cases on this," Koh said. She ordered both sides to discuss her proposal, file any necessary briefs, and report back to the court by March 7.
The series of cases began after Samsung ignored warnings in 2010 from both the iPhone maker and its rival Google
that Samsung's products were too derivative of Apple's designs in both trade dress and software. Apple has accused the company of "slavishly" copying from its innovations
, down to the particular shade of green used in the identical "phone" icon.
Samsung countersued Apple, claiming it had in fact infringed on two of Samsung's patents, for which it asked for $400 million in compensation. The claims from Samsung were wholly rejected by the first trial jury, and the company was awarded nothing while Apple was granted a $1.05 billion judgement. The second trial, involving the Siri patent discussed today is likely to take place in 2014.