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Apple hopes to add Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to latest Samsung lawsuit

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Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean
Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean

Apple's already expanded the number of devices it's accusing of intellectual property infringement in the company's second case against Samsung, but it's trying to add Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as well. Bloomberg reports that the argument was made before US Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal today, during a hearing at which Samsung was also scheduled to explain why it should be allowed to include the iPhone 5 in its own countersuit against Cupertino.

The concept was first brought up in an Apple court filing back on October 5th, where the company's legal team wrote that it wanted to "explicitly include within its contentions the Jelly Bean operating system that has been incrementally released for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus from July 2012 through September 2012." The Galaxy Nexus has been a focus in this particular case since February, when Apple first targeted the device for infringing upon several of its software patents. The Galaxy Nexus, of course, runs stock Android — so any potential software infringement would be due to Android itself (the Galaxy Nexus was one of the first devices to be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean earlier this year).

Samsung says Apple waited too long

In a response filed with the court, Samsung stated that Apple waited too long before asking to add Jelly Bean; Apple claims it merely waited until the software had rolled out to all variants of the Galaxy Nexus in order to confirm infringement occurred across the board (Verizon and Sprint customers famously had to wait quite a bit longer than their GSM brethren to receive the update). Samsung also argues that "Apple appears to be requesting blanket permission to sweep into this case any product that uses 'Jelly Bean,' now or in the future." Apple, in a filing that predates today's hearing, states that it was only looking to include the versions of Jelly Bean that shipped to the Galaxy Nexus, and that the inclusion would not increase the number of overall claims. That narrow definition would leave Samsung's other recent devices in the clear — only the Nexus phones ship with stock Android — but it could conceivably draw in Google's operating itself in a way that hasn't yet happened in Apple and Samsung's battles.

While the arguments were made today, Judge Grewal will be offering his decision by written order at a later date. We'll keep you updated when he responds — and the stakes of this second round of legal battle really begin to take shape.