Apple and Samsung Are Getting Serious in Court

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has asked a federal judge to add six Samsung products, including the bestselling Galaxy S III smartphone, to an upcoming patent infringement lawsuit between the two companies.

How Will the New Complaints Affect the Existing Case?

While the lawsuit was initiated by Apple, Samsung recently filed a motion to add the iPhone 5 as well as the newly released iPad mini and the fourth-generation iPad to its long list of counterclaims. The additions from both companies increase the stakes because sales of the newer and consequently more popular products will be hit harder in the case of a possible injunction. According to Apple Insider, Judge Grewal allowed Apple earlier in November to add the Galaxy S III to the suit. However, Samsung has since updated the phone’s Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android operating system to 4.1 Jelly Bean, “a version of which is now being claimed as infringing on the Cupertino tech giant’s intellectual property.”

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If approved by U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal, the latest assertions will also add the Galaxy Note II, the Galaxy S III mini, the Rugby Pro, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, and the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 to the case, which is scheduled to come up for hearing on March 31, 2014.

CHEAT SHEET Analysis: Catalysts for a Stock’s Movement

While filing of patent lawsuits between the two rivals is not hot news anymore, any big result or ruling resulting from complaints has the potential of acting as a catalyst for the stock. This new case is being heard by the same California court as the August landmark trial between the two companies that resulted in Samsung being found guilty. Apple was awarded $1.05 billion in damages then, but a more concrete resolution is expected on December 6 when a hearing will decide on a permanent U.S. sales ban on several Samsung devices as well as the Korean company’s assertion of jury misconduct.

As far as this second case goes, there will possibly be further additions from both sides as fact discovery is scheduled to run through July 8, 2013.

How Will the Filing Affect Apple’s Stock?

While an immediate effect of the filing of the motion on the share price may be minimal, the case holds long-term importance. Any ruling in favor of the iPhone maker will be appreciated by the company’s investors because of the critical rivalry between Apple and Samsung — currently the world’s top two smartphone makers.

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