In this Aug. 25, 2011 file photo, an attorney holds an Apple iPad, left, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 at the regional court in Duesseldorf, Germany. The two tech Titans will square off in federal court Monday, July 30, 2012, in a closely watched trial over control of the U.S. smart phone and computer tablet markets. Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. last year alleging the world’s largest technology company’s smartphones and computer tablets are illegal knockoffs of its popular iPhone and iPad products. AP Photo/dapd, Sascha Schuermann, File
FRANCISCO (AP)—With billions of dollars and control of the U.S.
smartphone and computer tablets markets at stake, jury selection began
Monday in a closely watched trial between two of the world’s leading
tech companies over patents.
Inc. filed a lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co. last year alleging
the world’s largest technology company’s smartphones and computer
tablets are illegal knockoffs of its popular iPhone and iPad products.
Apple is demanding $2.5 billion in damages, an award that would dwarf
the largest patent-related verdict to date.
countered that Apple is doing the stealing and that some of the
technology at issue—such as the rounded rectangular designs of
smartphones and tablets—has been industry standards for years.
jury of 10 people will be picked from a pool of dozens, and opening
statements could start late Monday or early Tuesday in a trial expected
to last more than a month.
case is just the latest skirmish between the two companies over product
designs. A similar trial began last week, and the two companies have
been fighting in courts in the United Kingdom and Germany.
some 50 lawsuits have been filed by myriad telecommunications companies
jockeying for position in the burgeoning $219 billion market for
smartphones and computer tablets.
District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose last month ordered Samsung to pull
its Galaxy 10.1 computer tablet from the U.S. market pending the outcome
of the upcoming trial, though the judge barred Apple attorneys from
telling the jurors about the ban.
a pretty strong statement from the judge and shows you what she thinks
about some of Apple’s claims,” said Brian Love, a Santa Clara University
law professor and patent expert. He said that even though the case will
be decided by 10 jurors, the judge has the authority to overrule their
decision if she thinks they got it wrong.
some sense the big part of the case is not Apple’s demands for damages
but whether Samsung gets to sell its products,” said Mark A. Lemley, a
Stanford Law School professor and director of the Stanford Program in
Law, Science, and Technology.
said a verdict in Apple’s favor could send a message to consumers that
Android-based products such as Samsung’s are in legal jeopardy. A
verdict in Samsung’s favor, especially if it prevails on its demands
that Apple pay its asking price to certain transmission technology it
controls, could lead to higher-priced Apple products.
and other legal observers say it’s rare that a patent battle with so
much at stake doesn’t settle short of a trial. Court-ordered mediation
sessions attended by Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook and high-ranking
Samsung officials failed to resolve the legal squabble, leading to a
highly technical trial of mostly expert witnesses opining on patent laws
and technology. Cook is not on the witness list and is not expected to
Love and others say it also appears that Apple was motivated to file
the lawsuit, at least in part, by its late founder’s public avowals that
companies using Android to create smartphones and other products were
brazenly stealing from Apple. To that end, Samsung’s attorneys made an
unsuccessful pitch to have the jury hear excerpts from Steve Jobs’
will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every
penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong, I’m going
to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product,” Jobs is quoted as
saying in Walter Isaacson’s book “Steve Jobs” published in November.
“I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”
But the judge barred those statements in a ruling earlier this month.
“I really don’t think this is a trial about Steve Jobs,” Koh said.
In court papers filed last week, each company laid out its legal strategy in so-called trial briefs.
lawyers argue there is almost no difference between Samsung’s products
and Apple’s and that the South Korean company’s internal documents show
it copied Apple’s iconic designs and its interface.
once sold a range of phones and a tablet of its own design,” Apple
lawyers argue in their documents filed Wednesday. “Now Samsung’s mobile
devices not only look like Apple’s iPhone and iPad, they use Apple’s
patented software features to interact with the user.”
denies the allegation and counter-claims that Apple copied its iconic
iPhone from Sony. Samsung lawyers noted the company has been developing
mobile phones since 1991 and that Apple jumped into the market in 2007.
this lawsuit, Apple seeks to stifle legitimate competition and limit
consumer choice to maintain its historically exorbitant profits,”
Samsung lawyers wrote in their trial brief also filed Wednesday.
“Android phones manufactured by Samsung and other companies—all of which
Apple has also serially sued in numerous forums worldwide—offer
consumers a more flexible, open operating system with greater product
choices at a variety of price points as an alternative to Apple’s
single, expensive and closed-system devices.”
2005 and 2010 alone, Samsung invested $35 billion in research and
development relating to telecommunications technology, with over 20,000
engineers worldwide dedicated to telecommunications research and
development,” Samsung’s lawyers wrote.
thing that is notable is that this trial is happening at all,” said
Love, the law professor and patent expert. He said that in an industry
such as this where so many companies hold so many vital patents needed
by all players, lawsuits are viewed as toying with “mutually assured
destruction” and that most disputes are solved through “horse trading”
and agreements to share intellectual property and royalties.
Source: The Associated Press