Major Apple Vs. Samsung Patent Lawsuit Goes To Trial
A ten-man jury will decide the fate of the smartphone giants
A significant court battle between Apple and Samsung, two of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, will enter its final stages before a 10-member jury in a federal court in San Jose, California, on Monday.
The case, in which Samsung is accused of “copying” the iPad and other Apple products, has billions at stake, and could change the landscape of the mobile market.
The lawsuit began in April last year, when Apple accused Samsung of infringing several of its patents in at least 17 products, including the hugely successful Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus. The Silicon Valley giant had claimed a total of $2.5 billion (£1.6bn) in damages.
Earlier this year, the rival companies announced they were going to try to settle the issue out of court. However, even with input from CEOs Tim Cook and Gee-Sung Choi, an agreement wasn’t reached.
After over a year of legal proceedings, the outcome of the case will now be decided by ten jurors from Silicon Valley, who will hear related evidence over the next four weeks. The case will be presided over by US District Judge Lucy Koh, who specialises in patent litigation.
In May, Samsung got a minor court win, dismissing some counterclaims by Apple. However, Apple was later granted an injunction banning the sales of the Galaxy Nexus in the US. A week later, the Court of Appeal for the Federal Circuit had granted Samsung a temporary stay of the injunction, with a ban on Galaxy Tab 10.1 remaining in place.
According to Reuters, if Samsung loses the case, it might find its whole Galaxy range banned from sale in America.
During the upcoming hearing, Apple will use its competitor’s internal documents to try to prove Samsung knowingly violated patents, choosing to “copy” Apple’s devices and software. According to the New York Times, these documents seem to criticise some Samsung products as being “too iPhone-like”.
Meanwhile, Samsung will say that Apple is using patents as a weapon to maintain its dominant position in the market, harming competition and, as a result, consumers.
“Apple’s overreaching claim for damages is a natural extension of its attempts to monopolise the marketplace… It seeks to collect ‘lost profits’ despite the fact that no one buys phones because they have [a] ‘bounce back’ feature or other manifestations of Apple’s alleged inventions,” Samsung said.
The South Korean manufacturer will try to show that Apple borrowed its ideas from other manufacturers, especially Sony. It will also tell the jury about its touch-screen phone F700, which was released before the iPhone.
In the past, many analysts have referred to the patent system as a “minefield”, which is especially true for quickly developing fields like smartphones and tablets, where up to 250,000 patents can be used for a single device.
Earlier this month, the UK High Court ruled that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 could not possibly be confused with the Apple iPad because it isn’t “cool enough”. Apple was ordered to publish specific advertising to inform consumers that Samsung didn’t copy its tablet. The decision was later put on hold as Apple plans to appeal in October.
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