In tit-for-tat, Apple seeks to expand Samsung patent suit

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Apple's asked a court to allow it to add six more Samsung products to its patent infringement lawsuit in what's an ever-escalating battle between the two firms.

Last week, Samsung asked to add more products, including the iPad Mini, to its patent suit against Apple. But Apple's now retaliated by asking for its own patent suit against Samsung to be broadened out too.

"Apple has acted quickly and diligently to determine that these newly-released products do infringe many of the same claims already asserted by Apple," the company says in its Friday court filing.

According to the filing, Apple now wants to include the Samsung Galaxy S III, running the new Jelly Bean OS, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wifi, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, the Samsung Rugby Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S III Mini.

All these products have either been released since the original patent claim was filed, or else have received OS updates.

"Apple's motion highlights that all of these products (or product upgrades) were released after the fifth-generation iPod touch Samsung would like to include in this lawsuit, a fact that should make it difficult for the court to allow Samsung the addition of the fifth-generation iPod touch (apparently already released in early October) while denying Apple's latest proposed additions as untimely," says patent expert Florian Mueller.

Apple has more to gain than Samsung by widening the scope of the patent suits. Samsung has a much broader product line, and one which tends to be updated more often.

The case is due to go to trial in March 2014 - by which time many of the products concerned are likely to be pretty obsolete.