The jury in one of the most epic patent trials in history is set to make a decision shortly. The panel, which consists of nine men and women, has been listening for over three weeks now to testimony, evidence and other pertinent data from technology and patent experts as well as company executives from the sparring partners Apple Corp. and Samsung Electronics. The jury is scheduled to hear closing arguments of both companies next Tuesday in the San Jose federal courtroom under Judge Lucy Koh.
What’s it all about
As explained in an earlier related article here at CPS Central, Apple has accused Samsung of stealing its iPhone and iPad technology. The company is now demanding not only that Samsung dish out $2.5 million, but also that the South Korean company pull their devices – namely their smartphones and tablets – off retailers’ shelves immediately. In rebuttal, Samsung is demanding that Apple fork over $399 million for aping their technology to develop the iPhone and iPad.
Should Apple be granted the compensation it is demanding, the verdict would represent the all-time largest patent verdict in US history, partly due to the fact that Apple and Samsung lead the pack when it comes to smartphone makers – in fact, together they account for more than half of these devices’ sales in the entire world.
Although the legal battle itself is complex, as most are even when the dueling sides are not tech giants, the case really comes down to a simple fact: whether or not jurors think that Samsung’s devices look and feel the same Apple’s.
Opinions galore regarding the case
Judge Birss, a UK High Court Judge who decreed that Apple retract letters it sent to retailers demanding them to stop selling Samsung devices said, “[The Samsung tablets] are not as cool. The overall impression is different…They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design.” However, it will be up to the jury to make that determination for itself.
A jury trial consultant in New York, Ellen Brickman stated, “Saying Apple is a copyist is going to be hard sell…Apple changed the world when it came to computers. Apple changed the world when it came to phones. The fact that the iPhone and iPad are so popular shows people believe the products must be innovative. When you think of tech, you don’t think of Samsung.”
Barring the verdict is in favor of Apple, not only would it cost Samsung a whole lot of money, but the company will probably set off scrambling as soon as possible to redesign their devices.
The battle between Apple and Samsung is just one of more than 50 technology-related lawsuits that have occurred as a result of the cut-throat competition that exists in a $219 billion smartphone and tablet market.