Apple upset at favourable Samsung trial date

Apple and Samsung‘s long-lasting war of attrition won’t be settled any time soon.

Today, IP expert Florian Mueller says from his bog Jobs’ lot won’t get a decision on a preliminary injunction against Samsung before mid October.

That’s thanks to a decision made a few hours ago by Judge Lucy Koh, who is playing referee between the rowing pair. She has issued a hearing on Apple’s injunction request, which has fallen into dates requested by Samsung as opposed to Apple’s early September hearing preference.

Mueller says although he was certain the judge would have set a compromise date between the two requests, it looks like Judge Koh ”doesn’t share Apple’s sense of urgency.”

The courts have pushed back the date to October so they can make sure they have reviewed all the documents, and according to Mueller the fact that they have sided with Samsung over the hearing dates bears no hint of the outcome.  

However, he points out that the hurdle for a preliminary injunction is “very high” – and Apple would have felt more at ease if the judge had moved the hearing closer to the date that it wanted.  

There could be trouble ahead for Samsung. A preliminary injunction in mid-October will likely have a negative effect on the company’s American revenues throughout and beyond the Christmas selling season.

It looks as though the troops will be battling it out long into next year, too.

“Last week the judge decided on the schedule for the process leading to a decision on a possible expedited trial — in other words, a meta-schedule (a schedule for how to decide on a schedule),” Mueller said.

This means that there is one remaining schedule for a patent trial which needs to be set.

Although Apple wants the trial to begin in February 2012,  Samsung is contesting the date. It wants a later trial outside of California.

Now, courts need to examine Samsung’s argument before those trials go ahead.