Apple vs Samsung, but Google shadow looms large

2014-04-30 09:26
Apple accuses Samsung of copying its smartphone patents. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Apple accuses Samsung of copying its smartphone patents. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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San Jose - It was Apple versus Samsung, but Google loomed large on Tuesday during closing arguments at the month-long federal trial involving claims of patent infringement exchanged by the world's two largest smartphone makers.

A lawyer for Apple accused Samsung of "slavishly" copying key features of its iPhone and iPad products and demanded $2.2bn in damages.

An attorney for Samsung denied the allegations and argued that its Google-developed software differs from Apple's operating system.

In his closing argument, lawyer William Price referred to an e-mail from Apple founder Steve Jobs indicating that he had ordered employees to wage a "holy war" against Google and its Android system, believing it was a rip-off of Apple's operating system.

Price said that was the sole reason Apple filed the lawsuit against Samsung.


"We don't think we owe Apple a nickel," added John Quinn, one of four Samsung lawyers involved in the company's closing argument.

Quinn also said Apple wants to monopolise the industry.

"They want to attack Google and Android by attacking the most successful Android maker," he said.

Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny told jurors that Samsung's "illegal strategy has been wildly successful" and insisted that Google had nothing to do with the case.

"Despite all the times Samsung mentioned it, you will not find a single question about Google in your jury form," McElhinny said. "Google is not a defendant in this case."

Google spokesperson Matt Kallman declined comment on the proceedings.

The four men and four women on the jury began deliberating on Tuesday but did not reach a verdict. They will resume Wednesday.

The case marks the latest legal fight between Samsung and Apple as each tries to dominate the $330bn annual market for smartphones.

Samsung has captured about 31% of the smartphone market while Apple retains a 15% share.

A different jury in San Jose presiding over a previous trial regarding older technology ordered Samsung to pay Apple $930m. Samsung has appealed that ruling.

Google may not be a defendant in the current trial, but evidence introduced by Apple attorneys showed the internet search giant has agreed to reimburse Samsung if the South Korean company is ordered to pay damages on two of the five patents at issue.

In addition, Samsung lawyers called three Google engineers to the witness stand to testify.

The trial involves five Apple patents that the company accuses Samsung of using to create nine newer smartphones and a tablet. The features in question include slide-to-lock, universal searching, quick linking, background syncing and automatic word correction.

Samsung, meanwhile, has alleged that Apple infringed two of its patents related to camera use and video transmission. Samsung is seeking $6.2m in damages.
Read more on:    google  |  samsung  |  apple  |  iphone  |  mobile

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