Actual court drawing of Forstall

Following jury selection in the latest Apple vs Samsung patent trial in San Jose, today the trial officially started with Apple’s opening statements. In the trial, Apple is seeking $2B in damages for five patents it claims Samsung violated, while Samsung has counter-claims that Apple devices violate two of its own patents. While some thought the case—which unlike previous patent battles between the companies involves only software related patents— could make Android and therefore Google the real target of the outcome Apple is seeking, Apple actually made it clear that’s not the case in its opening statement (via TheVerge):

“Samsung copied many many features, but there are limits in what we can accomplish in a trial,” said Harold McElhinny, a partner at Morrison Foerster, the law firm representing Apple. “We can’t try 50 patents,”… Beyond trashing Samsung, Apple used its opening statement to distanced itself from Google, a company that’s not named as a codefendant with Samsung, but that made Android, which all these devices were running. “It’s samsung, not Google selling these phones,” McElhinny told jurors. “It’s Samsung making these things, and infringing.”

Apple also claimed that Samsung deliberately copied the iPhone and that doing so was “built into the Samsung development process” (via Recode):

“Samsung did not stop with competitive intelligence,” he said. “Copying the iPhone was literally built into the Samsung development process.”… “This case is not about Google,” McElhinny said. “It is Samsung that has made the decision to copy these features.”… “They will try to tell you our inventions were trivial,” McElhinny said. However, McElhinny said Apple will show that the patents in question are over fundamental features.

Samsung also started its opening statements today arguing Apple’s claims are a “ gross exaggeration” and the features covered in Apple’s patents aren’t why people buy Samsung devices. Instead, Samsung’s lawyer argued, screen size and battery life are the selling points for Samsung devices. He also noted that some features for devices in question like the Galaxy Nexus were developed exclusively by Google and that Apple isn’t using most of the patents it’s trying to enforce (via Recode):

Quinn also noted that none of the software features on the Galaxy Nexus phone were designed by Samsung. Rather, he said, all of the software on that phone was done by the “sophisticated and creative minds” at Google. Plus, he said, “Google didn’t copy” but rather independently developed the features. “It’s an attack on Android,” Quinn said. “It is trying to gain with you in this courtroom what it has lost in the marketplace.”

The trial is expected to last the entire month with each company getting 25 hours of arguments followed by jury deliberations. Apple’s senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller is scheduled to be Apple’s first witness to testify after opening statements wrap up. 

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.