Apple, Samsung drop some patent claims as trial approaches

A jury trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection next Monday

Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop some of the patent infringement claims they have filed against each other, they said Monday. The move will help simplify the litigation between the two companies when it goes in front of a California jury next week.

Apple said it would dismiss all claims it had previously made against Samsung's Acclaim, Nexus S, and Sidekick cellphones, while Samsung is dropping all claims against Apple relating to U.S. Patent 6,928,604. The decision was disclosed in a filing to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

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The two companies have been arguing in a San Jose courtroom over a lawsuit Apple filed against Samsung in April 2011. The case covers the design and operation of tablet computers and smartphones and essentially boils down to Apple accusing Samsung of too closely copying its iPad and iPhone products.

A jury trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection next Monday.

In an attempt to make the case easier for a jury to manage, the presiding judge in the case, Lucy Koh, has restricted each side to no more than 25 hours to present their case and show no more than 125 exhibits. Even so, the case could take up to four weeks to complete.

She has also repeatedly asked both companies to narrow their claims down to a core set of complaints that each feels most confident about winning. Koh most recently gave similar instructions on July 18.

Apple and Samsung are due in court in San Jose on Tuesday for a final trial hearing ahead of next week's jury trial.

Also this week, a Dusseldorf court will rule in an appeals case over whether the Galaxy Tab 10.1N infringes on Apple's designs. A patent battle between the two companies began on Monday in Australia with Samsung accusing Apple of refusing to enter into negotiations to license essential 3G patents included in the iPhone and iPad.

The U.S. case is 11-01846 being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com.

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