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Apple accuses Samsung lawyers of stalling in court

Apple's legal counsel believe their efforts for an expedited trial in their patent infringement suit against Samsung are being held up by Samsung's uncooperative attorneys.

Apple is preparing a motion to compel Samsung to present more evidence in its case in a California court. But according to Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents, Apple can't bring that motion until it holds a "meet and confer" between its lead counsel and Samsung's.

Samsung's lead counsel, Charles Verhoeven, is in Washington D.C. representing Motorola at a hearing at the International Trade Commission against Apple, and will be involved in hearings until Dec. 16. And by the time Verhoeven returns, it will be too late for Apple to have its motion against Samsung to be heard by the end of 2011.

In August, the court granted Apple's wish for an expedited trial. Currently, the trial is scheduled to start on July 30, 2012, but that date could be pushed back if the case isn't trial-ready.

"There are two timing issues here," Mueller wrote. "The primary issue is that Samsung is, according to Apple, uncooperative with respect to the production of evidence. The second one is that the unavailability and inflexibility of Samsung's lead counsel now prevent Apple from tackling the primary issue through a motion to compel."

In a filing with the court, Apple noted that Samsung has produced very little evidence of late. Apple said Samsung has only produced 71 documents totaling 241 pages since Oct. 13, while Apple has provided over one million pages to the court.

Apple's attorneys said once they receive the documents from Samsung, the Korean-language filings will need to be translated, technical materials and source codes will need to be analyzed, and a detailed history of more than 30 accused Samsung products need to be assembled before Apple's attorneys can travel to Korea and begin depositions.

"If Apple does not receive production of the core design, marketing, and technical documents sought in the motion to compel well before January 2012, Apple's ability to conduct meaningful depositions and properly defend its own witnesses in depositions will be unduly compromised."

Apple's attorneys now hope that Judge Lucy Koh will grant them relief from the meet-and-confer requirement, allowing the lawyers to bring their motion to compel immediately. The Apple legal team hopes that the court will be able to hear the motion on or around Dec. 16, giving them the ability to move forward and potentially meet their own deadlines.

Apple first sued Samsung in April, accusing its rival of copying the look and feel of its popular iPhone and iPad products. Samsung has fired back with its own patent infringement allegations, and the legal battle has since spread across the globe, with each company filing lawsuits against the other in numerous countries.