In an ongoing California court case between Apple and Samsung, a judge on Thursday granted the requests of both companies to add recently released hardware to the suit. The iPhone 5 is now included, as well as Samsung’s U.S. Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (specifically as it pertains to the Galaxy Nexus, and not beyond). The judge in the case also hinted that if Samsung requests it, Apple may see its latest tablets, including the iPad mini and fourth generation iPad, added to the patent lawsuit as well.
“Given the early stage of this litigation and the reasoning of this order, the court notes that Apple should think twice before opposing similar amendments reflecting other newly-released products — e.g. the iPad 4 and iPad mini — that Samsung may propose in the near future,” Judge Grewal wrote, according to IDG News Service. The deadline for amendments in the case is next week, November 23, which means that if Samsung would like to also target Apple’s latest products, it has until then to request to do so.
Apple recently requested to have the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Jelly Bean added to the lawsuit, after Samsung quickly added the iPhone 5 to its own list of products in violation of its held patents following its release. Clearly, the judge isn’t sure that this kind of arms race in this case necessarily benefits either party, but both Samsung and Apple want to illustrate that the transgressions they see coming from the other side are pervasive and consistent, not just isolated to individual products. That’ll be key if either one emerges a clear victor, in a case that still isn’t set to go to trial until 2014, since to have an impact on devices currently shipping at the time the ruling will have to be used as precedent for securing injunctions against future hardware.
Apple so far has scored only one truly decisive victory, with the ruling in August that held Samsung responsible for $1.05 billion as a result of patent infringement. Samsung is currently in the process of appealing that ruling. Apple last week announced a resolution to its ongoing patent disputes with Android OEM HTC, but there’s little reason to believe a similar outcome is imminent for Apple and Samsung, a point which a Samsung executive recently drove home with his own statement on the matter.