Multi-Billion Dollar Apple VS Samsung Trial Is Off To A Rough Start, Samsung Begs And Plays Unfair
Yesterday we talked to you about the large Apple VS Samsung patent trial that is starting this week. In fact, today in a San Jose federal court, where U.S. District Judge Judge Koh presides, both companies gave their opening statements at around 9 a.m. PST.
Before we get into the juicy details though, for those of you who have not been keeping up with the wave of lawsuits both Apple and Samsung have been infringing upon each other it is important to understand that this trial is being called the most important patent case in history. If Apple manages to convince the jury that Samsung copied the iPhone, Samsung will face a large financial blow. On the flip side, if Samsung can convince the jury otherwise, Apple’s “thermonuclear war” against Android smartphones will begin to dye out.
Prior to the trial even beginning this morning, and even prior to the jurors (who were selected yesterday) entering the courtroom, Samsung pleaded Judge Lucy Koh to reconsider a particularly important request. According to Forbes this request was to allow exhibits, that the Korean company says shows its smartphone designs were being worked on before Apple introduced the iPhone back in 2007, to be shown to the jury.
This request was dismissed, as it had been three times before. This did not stop Samsung from trying to convince the court otherwise however, as they went as far as “begging” the court to reconsider.
“What’s the point of having a trial?” said John Quinn of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which is representing Samsung. “They want to create a completely false impression that we came up with this design after January 2007.”
As he continued to press, Judge Koh showed her annoyance. “Don’t make me sanction you,” she said. “I want you to sit down please.”
And if you thought the pre-trial drama was over you are wrong. One of the three women on the jury had to ask to leave the jury because her employer would not pay her while she served. This was approved by both Apple and Samsung, which leaves a jury of 7 men and 2 women remaining to overhear and eventually give the final verdict on the expected to be four-week trial.
When the actual trial began the jury was shown an 18-minute video from the Federal Judicial Center, providing an overview on the U.S. Patent System. After the video showing was complete Judge Koh then provided additional information related to what was being covered in the trial.
Apple’s opening argument started off by showing slides of Samsung phones from 2006 and comparing the to Samsung smartphones in 2010. One of Apple’s biggest elements to their opening argument was citing internal documents that proved Samsung declared the iPhone’s hardware as “easy to copy.” According to Reuters Apple also highlighted another document that stated the company was in a “crisis of design” because of the iPhone.
After Apple produced their argument for why Samsung was guilty of copying Apple’s iPhone, Samsung was up to give their rebuttal. Essentially Samsung argued the idea that Apple cannot claim ownership over a “rectangular design with rounded corners” because that smartphone shape existed before the release of the iPhone. Samsung then started conveying the fact that Apple relies on them heavily for various hardware components found in the iPhone and even the iPad, and as such “clearly Apple thinks Samsung has invented something.”
After both Apple and Samsung presented their arguments, both companies called up witnesses. As you can see the biggest patent trial in history is off to a rough start already and things have just begun. To make matters even more dramatic, after the trial Samsung went public on information that the court denied the Korean company from sharing with the jury. According to CNET ”in an e-mail sent earlier today, Samsung said it would have presented evidence today that Sony’s designs predate Apple’s ideas for the iPhone, but a judge denied the company’s request.”
So, what did Samsung do? Well, because the they could not share their evidence with the court the company decided to release its evidence to the media. Their evidence included two slides showing Samsung phone designs, an excerpt from the deposition of former Apple designer Shin Nishibori, and the following statement:
The Judge’s exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone. The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.
After Samsung released the evidence over the internet, Apple’s counsel argued that the published evidence could have been seen by the jury who are only supported to make decisions based on the evidence presented in court. In fact, Judge Koh was noted to be “audibly irritated” at Samsung and stated “I want to know who drafted the press release, and who authorized it from the legal team.” Things are really heating up are they not? Share your responses and further thoughts about the events that unfolded today in the comments section.