World Bulletin / News Desk
Samsung Electronics Co Ltd told jurors that its products are not copycats of Apple Inc's iPhonebut rather an example of legitimate American-style competition from the South Korean company.
Lawyers for both tech giants faced off on Tuesday for opening statements in the highly anticipated U.S. patent trial, where Apple has accused Samsung of stealing iPhone features like scrolling and multi-touch.
The stakes are high: Apple is being tested on its worldwide patent strategy against Google's Android operating system, while Samsung faces the threat of sales bans on its Galaxy line of phones and tablets.
Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Samsung's own internal product analyses show it deliberately chose to rip off the iPhone, but Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven said all companies produce such documents.
"It's called competition," Verhoeven said. "That's what we do in America."
The world's largest consumer electronics corporations have been waging legal war around the world, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices. They sell over half of the world's smartphones.
The legal fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung in a San Jose, California, federal court, accusing the South Korean company of slavishly copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued.
The federal courtroom in San Jose, California was jammed on Tuesday with lawyers and reporters, with more spilling into an overflow room next door equipped with a video feed. Both companies relied on slides featuring various phone models, internal emails and news reports to make their points.
Apple attorney Harold McElhinny showed slides that featured old Samsung phones from 2006 and compared it to the Korean company's newer smartphones from 2010.
The key question, McElhinny said, would be how Samsung moved from the old phones to "these phones." And even though Apple is a successful company, he said, it must defend its rights when someone steals their property.
"Artists don't laugh that often when people steal their designs," McElhinny said.
Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets in the U.S., reaping $8.16 billion in revenue, he said. Apple is seeking damages of over $2.5 billion.
Samsung's Verhoeven countered that many iPhone features, like its popular minimalist design, had already been thought up by others before its release.
"Samsung is not some copyist, some Johnny-come-lately doing knockoffs," he told the jurors.
Verhoeven added: "There's a distinction between commercial success and inventing something."
McElhinny showed jurors an internal Samsung product analysis which said the iPhone's hardware was "easy to copy." Verhoeven said Samsung's analyses were what all companies do in the smartphone industry, including Apple.
Before opening statements began on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed one of the jurors, a woman who works as an insurance agent. The woman said her employer would not pay her salary during jury service.
The nine member jury is now made up of seven men and two women.
The South Korean company has also leveled claims against Apple on five of Samsung's own patents. Another Apple attorney, Bill Lee, said those only came up after Apple began demanding that Samsung stop copying Apple's products.
Verhoeven noted that Apple is one of Samsung's biggest customers for smartphone components.
"Samsung isn't in the habit of suing its business partners, even if it could," he said.
Overall, Apple's McElhinny said Apple has a unique vision that technology should be about much more than just functionality.
"The evidence will be that Apple has made that vision a reality," he said, "so much that it really is hard to remember what phones looked like before."
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846.
The 3 countries are agreed to expand scope of free trade deals by 2017, says Turkish economy minister
Under current conditions, the IEA expects global output to exceed demand until the second half of 2017, Fatih Birol told journalists on the sidelines of an energy conference in Singapore.
The decision comes as the steel arm of the sprawling $100 billion conglomerate struggles to offload its loss-making British assets while its carmaking business continues to be plagued by weak sales.
Water quality and shortages also remain threat to health of many with onset of diseases
Bank expects ‘solid rise in energy prices, led by oil' next year
Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile said in a statement the bank would remain open, continue to operate normally and that the central bank would protect deposits.
Four presidents meet, but hopes of diplomatic breakthrough for cease-fire in eastern Ukraine remain low
Having taken years to negotiate, some producers voiced impatience for the deal to now be finally sealed; others simply fail to see why anyone would reject it.
"The value of this project will be $10 billion with a final production level of 600,000 barrels of oil per day," he said in Tehran.
Bangladesh has been one of the worst victims of global warming, with thousands of people being killed by cyclones in recent years that have become more frequent and deadlier.
Exporting Israeli gas via Turkey to Europe is viable option, says Israeli Energy Minister
French energy group EDF views Turkey as 'growth country' with more room for nuclear, renewable and hydro projects, VP says
"If OPEC sticks to its new target, the market's rebalancing could come faster," it said.
Further warrants issued against police suspected of using ByLock messaging service
A stock index of firms compliant with the principles of Islamic Sharia law, in cooperation with Bosna Bank International was launched today
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev says bilateral energy projects with Turkey play key role for energy security in region