- April 25, 2014
- Category: Latest
Samsung and Apple have been no strangers to litigation in the past, and the two tech giants are back in court again this week. The trial, in which Apple alleges that Samsung infringed on five of its patents, will play out in the same San Jose district courtroom that hosted a previous patent lawsuit between the two companies in 2012.
This time, however, the patents are newer, the devices are more modern, and there’s an extra twist: Samsung’s attorneys are arguing that Apple’s lawsuit is really an attack on Android. During his opening arguments, Samsung attorney, John Quinn argued that none of the software features Apple is accusing Samsung of infringing were actually developed by Samsung. According to Quinn, the features are a part of the Android operating system, which means that even if the features were copied from Apple patents, Samsung would not be the party at fault.
According to tech expert, Jason Hope, (https://medium.com/@jasonhope) the patent case, as well as Samsung’s defense against it, both say a lot about the current state of the mobile market.
“It’s true that the devices Apple and Samsung are coming out with are similar in the types of features they include,” said Jason Hope. “What makes them different is the business models they’re sold under: Apple has built their business model on providing both the hardware and the operating system. That worked very well for them for a while, but now Samsung has started to succeed by working in partnership with Google. If Samsung’s attorneys are correct in their assertion that Apple is actually using this patent case to strike back at Google and Android devices in general, then perhaps that may be a sign that Apple’s model of creating both hardware and software is fundamentally broken.”
Samsung’s attorneys were quick to point out that their argument is not meant to suggest that Google is guilty of any illegal practices. Instead, Quinn argued that Google’s software engineers developed the features in question independently of Apple, and that Apple is merely using the idea of patent infringement to fight back against Android’s increasing market share.
Apple’s legal team has rejected the idea that the case is really about attacking Android. According to Harold McElhinny, one of Apple’s lead attorneys on the case, the case is about Samsung, since Samsung is the company that designed and profited from the phones that use the allegedly infringed features.
Now, it will be up to the jury to decide whether or not infringement actually occurred. If the jury rules in favor of Apple, they will also be called upon to decide on a fair amount of damages to award. Apple is claiming that Samsung should pay about $2 billion in damages for infringing on its five patents, while Samsung attorneys argue that Apple experts grossly overestimated the value of their patents when calculating that figure.
The jury that the two companies agreed upon was originally made up of six women and four men, but two of the jurors asked to be released from the case for personal reasons, bringing the final jury down to eight members. Although the trial will take a place in the epicenter of the American technology industry, the majority of the jurors who were selected for the case have no background in technology. Many of the potential jurors dismissed from the case expressed strong opinions about one of the companies.
According to Jason Hope, it’s noteworthy that such an important ruling will be rendered by such a small group of tech novices.
“Obviously, this isn’t the first time that Apple and Samsung have gone to war over patents, and I don’t expect it will be the last, either. However, I do think the ruling this jury comes up with is going to have a tremendous effect on the future of mobile technology in the United States. It’s hard to speculate whether or not they’ll buy Samsung’s assertion that Apple is using them as a proxy for Google, but either way, it is a huge amount of responsibility for eight people to have.”
Deliberation in the case is expected to last until the end of the month, after which the jury will deliberate every business day until it reaches a verdict.
About Author: Amy Taylor is a business and technology writer. Amy began her career as a small business owner in Phoenix, AZ. She enjoys writing about business technology trends. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking with her Alaskan Malamute, Sam.
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