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Judge pares down Apple v. Samsung case exhibits, limits argument time

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Apple and Samsung are now limited to 125 exhibits and 25 hours of argument time each to present their respective cases in the California suit that is part of the two companies' ongoing worldwide patent struggle.

U.S. District Court for the Northern California District Judge Lucy Koh set the ground rules on Thursday after counsels for both parties requested specific guidance regarding the scope of the upcoming jury trial, reports Electronista. Along with the new limitations, both Apple and Samsung agreed to drop a number of claims to further streamline the bloated patent suit.

Referral Judge Paul Grewal told the two companies in an earlier hearing on Thursday that Judge Koh would not "accept thousands of documents," prompting both sides to rethink their strategies and pare down claims to only the most relevant.

This is the third time Apple and Samsung have been ordered to drop claims for sake of a shorter trial, with the most recent coming in early May when Judge Koh refused to put jurors through what she called "cruel and unusual punishment." At the time a total of 16 patents, six trademarks, five "trade dress" claims and an antitrust case were part of the trial.

Judge Lucy Koh. | Source: U.S. District Court

Judge Koh is a veteran in the dispute and rejected a 2011 Apple request to ban U.S. sales of the South Korean firm's Galaxy Tab in December. She then delayed judgment on a refiling of that same injunction after the iPad maker won a federal appeal that overturned the California court's previous ruling.

Most recently, Samsung tried to have the entire Galaxy Tab case reheard but the attempt was shot down and Apple is now preparing for a hearing that will take place later this month.

Apple also tried to block U.S. sales of Samsung's new Galaxy S III smartphone, though that request was

The patent war, which now spans over 10 countries, began in April 2011 when Apple claimed that Samsung copied the look and feel of the iPad and iPhone. As one of the largest disputes of its kind in the world, the heads of both companies were mandated to appear at court-ordered talks in attempts to alleviate mounting pressure but the meeting bore no fruit.