Well, that's one way to curb the patent wars a bit: Judge Lucy Koh ordered Apple and Samsung to reduce the number of claims in their patent litigation against each other. Between the two companies, they have sixteen patents, six trademarks, five "trade dress" claims and an antitrust case, all of which disputes are spread over 37 products.
And that's after both companies already scaled their claims down a bit.
“I think that’s cruel and unusual punishment to a jury, so I’m not willing to do it,” said Judge Koh. “If you’re going to trial in July, this is not going to be acceptable.”
Each company claims that the other hasn't done their fair share of lawsuit pruning, and Apple went so far as to accuse Samsung of not wanting the trial to stay on schedule.
If Judge Koh were Apple's and Samsung's mom, this is the point at which she would take some headache medicine, tell them one more time to get along or else and maybe send them to bed without supper. As it is, she has warned them that their trial (which is scheduled for July 30 of this year) may be delayed until 2013 if they can't pare down their claims sufficiently that your average jury could wrap their heads around the case.
The CEOs of Apple and Samsung are scheduled to begin talks on May 21-22 that might just lead to a settlement of both sides' patent claims. For the sake of potential jurors (and perhaps Judge Koh as well), we hope they succeed.