Apple and Samsung set for court battle over ‘copycat’ technology
TOGETHER, they account for more than half of all global smartphone sales and are giants of the technology world.
Today, Apple and Samsung will begin a landmark court case in California that could limit the phones and tablet devices on the market.
The case sees Apple – creator of the iconic iPad and iPhone devices – claim Samsung copied the company’s designs and seeking damages of $2.5 billion.
Should a ruling go in Apple’s favour, the judge could go as far as to triple that sum.
Samsung, in response, argues that Apple is trying to stifle competition to maintain “its historically exorbitant profits”.
In court papers filed last week, each company laid out its legal strategy in trial briefs.
Apple lawyers argue there is almost no difference between Samsung’s products and those of Apple, and that the South Korean company’s internal documents show it copied Apple’s iconic designs and its interface.
“Samsung once sold a range of phones and a tablet of its own design,” Apple lawyers say. “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.”
Samsung counters that Apple copied the iPhone from Sony.
Samsung lawyers highlighted that the company has been developing mobile phones since 1991 and that Apple entered the market in 2007.
Samsung lawyers wrote in their trial brief: “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.”
Today sees a resumption of hostilities after the US-based company sued Samsung in San Jose last year, claiming the South Korean smartphones and tablets directly duplicated the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued. Since then, legal battles have been fought in courtrooms across almost a dozen countries.
A ten-strong jury will deliberate on their decision over for at least four weeks.
Previously, a judge stopped American sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, a move followed by a ban on the Galaxy Nexus phone. Samsung has appealed both orders.
Nick Rodelli, a lawyer and adviser to institutional investors for the Centre for Financial Research, a global research business, estimated that 20 per cent of Samsung’s global consolidated profit could be affected if it were to fall foul of the ruling.
Bryan Glick, editor in chief of Computer Weekly.com, said: “Patent law is ridiculously complicated. Apple could win in one country and lose in another.
“In my view, it’s difficult to see how the patent wars will play out, but it’s in the consumer’s interest that there’s more competition and innovation.”
He added: “I think all people would rather see these companies competing in the high street rather than the law courts.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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