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Judge wonders if Apple is ‘smoking crack’ after seeing lengthy witness list

Apple Samsung Arm WrestleA lawyer fighting for Tim Cook and his team in the Apple/Samsung patent infringement court case must have felt somewhat taken aback on Thursday when presiding judge Lucy Koh said he must be “smoking crack” if he thought he was going to get his way with a request to call a large number of witnesses – 22 in all.

The case, which is coming to a close after three weeks of arguments and testimony, involves accusations by both companies of patent infringement regarding a number of mobile products.

Apple claims Samsung has ripped off the design of its iPhone and iPad devices in the building of some of its Galaxy range of mobile devices. Samsung, meanwhile, accuses Apple of patent infringement in connection with a number of its patents, including ones linked to the way smartphones deal with email attachments, photos and the playing of music files.

Crack smoking

In a San Jose federal court on Thursday, Apple attorney William Lee submitted a 75-page document to Koh containing a list of 22 witnesses that Apple’s legal team said it might want to call. Judging by Koh’s brusque response, however, it seems like it was 22 too many.

The Verge reported that Judge Koh “laid into Apple,” asking why it would hand her such a large document “when unless you’re smoking crack you know these witnesses aren’t going to be called!”

Before Lee did anything, he clarified one thing, saying, “I’m not smoking crack. I can promise you that.” After being reminded by Koh that Apple has only four hours left to finish its case, the company’s legal team agreed to cut down the number of witnesses.

Lawyers for the iPhone maker had another run-in with Judge Koh earlier in the week when Apple said a witness it wanted to call wasn’t available till Monday due to family matters. Koh was having none of it, telling them that if she couldn’t make it this week, then forget it.

Yes, it’s more than a bit obvious that Koh is keen to stick rigidly to the time plan for this case. In fact, she’d prefer that the two companies reach an out-of-court settlement rather than leaving it to a jury to decide, telling both sides on Wednesday, “It’s time for peace,” and urging them to get together to hammer out a deal. But she must be smoking wacky backy if she really thinks something like that is going to happen.