Apple Adds 6 Samsung Devices to Its List of Patent Offenders

In the Apple-Samsung patent wars, Apple wants to add six devices to its list of offenders, saying it will otherwise have to start a new suit.

Apple reportedly wants to add the Samsung Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy Tab 8.9 WiFi, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, Rugby Pro and Galaxy III Mini to a list of devices it says are in violation of its patents.

Bloomberg reported Nov. 26 that Apple requested that the six Samsung devices be added to its legal complaint in a court document it filed with a California U.S. District Court. The leading device makers have been battling it out in courts around the world for months, and in August, a jury in California—thought to be confused on some matters—determined that Samsung should pay Apple $1.05 billion.

Samsung has fought back against the ruling, and on Dec. 6 a judge is expected to rule on whether a handful of Samsung devices should be blocked from being sold in the United States.

Apple, said Bloomberg, is looking to add the six devices to its initial list, so as to avoid starting up an entirely new suit.

"If Apple were not allowed to supplement now, Apple would be required to bring an entirely separate suit against the new products," Apple said in its filing, "involving exactly the same patents, patent claims and legal theories."

The legal case has been so drawn-out, detail-dense and frustrating to those involved that a California judge made headlines in August after suggesting that the only way Samsung attorneys could really expect to call up the long list of witnesses they requested late in the process was if they were "smoking crack."

In October, a court hearing a patent case in the United Kingdom ruled in favor of Samsung, saying that its Galaxy Tab 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 7.7 didn't infringe on Apple's registered iPad design and that Apple needed to publicly acknowledge this. Apple did so, in a letter that that did more bragging about the coolness of Apple devices and the company's legal wins elsewhere than it did acknowledging Samsung's win. The letter has since been updated and is far more to the point.

In both the global smartphone and tablet markets, Samsung has proved to be Apple's only real rival. At the start of the year, Samsung unseated long-time market leader Nokia to become the top-selling mobile phone and smartphone vendor, and during the third quarter, Samsung sold nearly 98 million mobile devices, ahead of Nokia's 82 million and number-three Apple's 23.6 million, according to Gartner.

Apple historically refreshes its iPhones in the fall, and Samsung launched the Galaxy S III in the spring and enjoyed strong sales through the summer. By November, Samsung had sold more than 30 million of them. Introducing the Galaxy Note 10.1 in August, the company shared that it had already sold more than 2 million Galaxy Note devices. On Nov. 26, Samsung announced that in two months' time, it had also sold more than 5 million Galaxy Note II devices.

In October Samsung introduced the Galaxy S III Mini, a more diminutive version of its best-selling smartphone. While the S III Mini has yet to go on sale, Apple included it in its newest filing, wrote Bloomberg, claiming that the device "is being sold in the U.S. through unofficial channels."