Apple Vs Samsung: Trial Nears The Jury Phase
August 22, 2012

Trial Of Apple Vs Samsung Coming To A Close, Sort Of

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

Apple and Samsung began the process of wrapping up their complaints against one another yesterday, each hurling the same accusations against one another since the beginning of trial.

During their closing arguments on Tuesday, Apple claimed once more Samsung is having a “crisis of design,” using a phrase found in an internal memo at Samsung wherein one executive described the difference between the iPhone and the Galaxy as that between “heaven and earth.”

Apple´s lead lawyer, Harold McElhinny, wrapped up his closing arguments for the jury by recalling the case of the ripped-off icons. Earlier in the case, Apple had called into evidence several slides of Apple icons set next to Samsung icons for native applications, such as music, notes, phone and photos. Apple argued Samsung had gone back to change the design of the icons to make them look like Apple icons.

"The damages should be large because the infringement has been massive,” said McElhinny during his closing arguments.

Apple is indeed asking for a large amount of damages, seeking some $2.5 Billion from their closest competitor.

Charles Verhoeven, a Samsung attorney, began his closing arguments by urging jurors to keep competition alive by choosing Samsung over Apple. For the duration of this trial, Samsung has not argued that they did not copy Apple. Rather, they´ve argued that everyone copies and Apple doesn´t have the right to lay claim to such simple designs, such as the rounded edges on rectangles and apps laid out on a grid.

“Rather than competing in the marketplace, Apple is seeking a competitive edge in the courtroom,” said Verhoeven. “(Apple thinks) it´s entitled to having a monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a large screen. It´s amazing really.”

The CEOs of these two tech titans were reported to have met on Monday in an attempt to settle their differences outside the court, a move which Judge Lucy Koh had suggested before.

Before heading into these closing arguments, Koh told the lawyers from either side that any agreement reached between the two companies would be better than any verdict handed down by the jury.

Apple isn´t the only party seeking damages, of course; Samsung is asking for $22.8 million in damages for one set of patents, and another $290 to $399 million in damages for patents related to Apple´s use of a 3G technology.

This trial has been closely watched by the general public, either because of the sheer size of the companies involved or Apple´s claims of being ripped off. As such, the San Jose courtroom was filled on Tuesday as people wanted to catch a glimpse of the combatting lawyers, looking for a legal fireworks show.

Many are expecting the verdict in this trial, whatever it may be, to be a significant changing point in a smartphone race which has largely been led by these two companies alone.

According to analyst Charles Golvin of Forrester Research, whoever wins this trial will have to seriously reconsider their strategies.

"If Apple prevails, then all of these competitors will be sent back to the drawing board to say, 'We have to produce our own innovations, our own ways of doing things,' and that will produce more diversity in the market," said Golvin, speaking to NPR.

On the other hand, if Apple loses, they´ll have to find another way to protect their designs from being copied and remain competitive in this market.

Though closing arguments are set to wrap up this week, it´s likely this case is far from over. No matter the verdict, there will almost certainly be an appeal from the losing side.