It's Samsung v Apple, starring Judge Lucy Koh

It's Samsung v Apple, starring Judge Lucy KohLet's get something straight: I truly detest the juvenile legal battle over patents currently raging in the US courts between Apple and Samsung. Both sides should get rid of the lawyers, grow some common sense and move on.

But after 16 hours of the tech press being more obsessed by crack than the most dedicated of strip club addicts, I have to ask the question: just who exactly is all this about – Apple and Samsung, or Judge Lucy Koh?

If you haven't heard yet, here's the deal: with Samsung close to wrapping up presenting its case, and only around six and a half hours of court time remaining for Apple to cross-examine and call up further witnesses of its own, Apple's lawyers presented 75 pages of briefings covering a full 22 further potential witnesses.

That was enough for US District Judge Koh, who has been growing increasingly impatient the longer the case has gone on.

“I am not going to be running around trying to get 75 pages of briefings for people who are not going to be testifying,” CNET reports Koh as having said to Apple lawyer Bill Lee.

“I mean come on. 75 pages! 75 pages! You want me to do an order on 75 pages, (and) unless you're smoking crack, you know these witnesses aren't going to be called when you have less than four hours.”

And there it was. Crack. In every headline of every story on the subject on nearly every tech blog on the planet (this being one of the few exceptions, you'll notice).

Fair enough, Koh is frustrated. But she surely knows just how intently – some would say obsessively – this court case is being covered, and how famous she herself now is purely for being in the middle of this no-holds-barred corporate slugfest - and not for the first time either.

On that point she has my deepest sympathy. But that doesn't give her the right to become a character in the court case.

This certainly isn't the first high-profile trial to yield some memorable quotes – those of OJ Simpson and Bill Clinton are two examples that quickly come to mind. But in both those cases it was the participants themselves who were making the comments, not the judge.

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