Apple vs. Samsung: Opening Statements in the (Patent) trial of the century

Apple and Samsung appeared in a San Jose federal court today, where U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh presides, to give opening statements starting at 9 a.m. PST.

Apple filed the first suit in this monumental case in April 2011. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company claimed Samsung infringed its patents by “slavishly copying” its iPhone. Samsung, a South Korea-based Company, promptly countersued.

This is one of the important cases to go to trial among a slew of other litigations on smartphone patents. If Apple wins, Samsung could suffer a financial blow and the ability to sell its infringing products in a large market. If Apple loses, its “thermonuclear war” against Android smartphone manufacturers could essentially wither away as Samsung collects royalty fees.

This morning’s most notable highlights are below (continually updated).

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Apple, Google, and five other companies must face lawsuit over no-poaching agreements

Late last week we told you that the U.S. Justice Department apparently had evidence that Apple, along along with Google, Adobe, Intuit, Pixar, Intel, and Lucasfilms, entered “no-poach” agreements as part of an antitrust investigation from 2010. U.S. District Judge Lucy H Koh made a statement yesterday at the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., confirming the companies must face a lawsuit. According to the report from Bloomberg, Koh said she would allow plaintiffs to re-file their complaint even if an initial request by the defendants to dismiss the claims is granted.  

Judge Koh’s decision yesterday will result in Google and the other companies having to provide a detailed account of the agreements made with other companies. They must also allow lawyers to take depositions. One lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Joseph Saveri, said, “We get to see what really happened,” claiming the case could result in hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Google provided statements to Bloomberg claiming they have “always actively and aggressively recruited top talent,” while the others have declined to comment.
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Watch out! Using Siri while driving is still illegal in California

MercuryNews was told by the San Jose Police that using Siri while driving is illegal. The San Jose Police Luitenant said that the actual act of talking to Siri isn’t illegal, but it’s the part when you use you’re hands to navigate through its functionality when things start getting setup for a nice ticket.

“It’s legal to talk to Siri, as long as the phone’s not in your hand,” says San Jose police Lt. Chris Monahan. “But if you have to push the phone to activate her, or if you ask for directions and she puts them up on her screen for you to read, then California’s hands-free law says your’re breaking the law.”

Where it gets murky is that the iPhone is also a GPS device and it isn’t illegal to use your fingers to use GPS devices, especially one that is mounted to your dashboard. Let’s just say: keep it safe.

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