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California judge puts limit on Apple-Samsung patent exhibits

Apple and Samsung are limited to 125 exhibits and 25 hours of argument to streamline the case

A California court will limit the number of exhibits Apple and Samsung are able to submit when their multifaceted patent infringement case comes before a jury next month.

"It's going to be 125 exhibits per side. That's it, no more," said Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, during a hearing on Thursday.

Koh has also said each side will be permitted 25 hours of arguments in the jury trial, which is scheduled to begin on July 30.

The conditions are intended to force Apple and Samsung to narrow their arguments to the strongest and most important points. Both sides have already agreed to drop some claims to simplify the case, which spans several patents and gets into arguments over the finer points of some of the technology inside smartphones.

During Thursday's hearing, for example, the companies argued over the way encryption is implemented in Apple products and whether it differs from the 3GPP standard used in 3G cellphones.

The limit on exhibits was announced by Koh after lawyers for Apple and Samsung sought guidance on how much they would be allowed to put in front of a jury.

They had been warned in a related hearing at the same court earlier Thursday in front of Judge Paul Grewal that Koh "will not accept thousands of documents."

Apple sued Samsung last year for allegedly violating multiple patents and trademarks in Android-based smartphones and tablets. The lawsuit prompted Samsung to countersue, and the spat spilled over into a separate Apple suit against Samsung this year on products released after the first suit was filed.

The two sides are due to meet Koh again on Friday, June 29, at the court house, which is in San Jose.

Koh will hear arguments about a preliminary injunction Apple is seeking against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple had asked the court to ban sales of the device in the U.S., but Koh put off a decision until an appeals court had ruled on a related issue. The court has since ruled, leaving Apple free to pursue the injunction.

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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