Apple: Samsung copied iPhone

2012-08-01 07:25

San Jose - Samsung executives at the highest level made a decision to copy "every element" of the iPhone to compete in the smartphone market, a lawyer for Apple said as arguments began in a huge patent trial.

Harold McElhinny, a lawyer for Apple in the blockbuster patent trial underway in San Jose, California, told the jury that Samsung began the effort as soon as the iPhone was publicly unveiled in January 2007.

"At the same time [Apple co-founder Steve] Jobs introduced the iPhone, he warned his competitors that he had filed for patent protection on more than 200 new inventions in the iPhone," McElhinny said.

"Samsung was faced with a choice. Samsung could come up with its own designs, it could beat Apple fairly in the marketplace. Or it could copy Apple... it's easier to copy than to innovate."

The lawyer said Samsung copied specific features, including a "bounce-back" feature during the scrolling process and a design with a black-on-black face.

"At the highest corporate levels, Samsung decided to copy every element of the iPhone," he said.

"This was not accidental. Samsung's copying was intentional."

He argued that Samsung made continual changes as Apple updated its products.

"Over 100 times Samsung made detailed changes to its phones and tablets so that the end result was identical to Apple products," the lawyer said.

Competing claims

The comments came as jurors began hearing the biggest US patent trial in decades, with billions at stake for the two big tech giants.

A Samsung lawyer was set to respond later on Tuesday with the company's argument.

Just ahead of the arguments, US District Judge Lucy Koh allowed one of the 10 jurors to be dismissed after the woman said she was confused about whether she was getting paid.

"The stress of this case is causing anxiety. She's having panic attacks," the judge said.

"We understand this case would be a severe economic hardship on you."

Both sides agreed to the move which reduces the number of jurors hearing the case to nine, but does not impact the trial.

The case began on Monday with a pool of 70 prospective jurors in the courtroom, who faced questions about whether they, their friends or family members work for Apple, Samsung, Google, or Motorola.

Google is not directly involved in the case but its Android operating system is used on Samsung devices and will figure prominently in the case. Google recently acquired Motorola Mobility, another maker of mobile devices.

Apple is seeking more than $2.5bn in a case accusing the South Korean firm of infringing on designs and other patents from the iPhone and iPad maker.

Temporary injunctions

Samsung counters that Apple infringed on its patents for wireless communication, so the jury will sort out the competing claims.

This is one of several cases in courts around the world involving the two big electronics giants in the hottest part of the tech sector, tablet computers and smartphones.

While the results so far have been mixed in courts in Europe and Australia, Samsung is clearly on the defensive in the US case.

Koh, who will preside in the jury case, has issued two temporary injunctions against US sales of Samsung's 10-inch Galaxy tablet and the Galaxy Nexus smartphone developed with Google.

Samsung could face big risks: If Apple wins, it would automatically get a permanent injunction on sales of Samsung devices. And if Samsung makes only minor changes, Apple could ask for the Korean firm to be held in contempt.

The case has huge financial implications for both firms and the burgeoning industry for mobile devices.

A survey by research firm IDC showed Samsung shipped 50.2 million smartphones globally in the April-June period, while Apple sold 26 million iPhones. IDC said Samsung held 32.6% of the market to 16.9% for Apple.

Samsung is the leading maker of smartphones using Google's Android operating system, which has become the most popular platform despite complaints from Apple that it has infringed on its patents.

  • brianmacza - 2012-08-01 07:51

    This is ironic as Sony is challenging Apple on patent infringements on a design produced in early 2006 that Apple took design elements from. Pot, this is kettle calling...

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-08-01 08:27

      Yeah and Samsung had a touchscreen 'smartphone ' first with the Omnia

      preshen.govender.90 - 2012-08-01 08:44

      the stekkie in the picture is hot

      merven.halo - 2012-08-01 10:51

      Well spotted Preshen.

  • JevonMarshallJohnson - 2012-08-01 07:52

    Sue the hell out of them. Apple is the most copied hardware and software on the planet.

      boltonbarry - 2012-08-01 08:34

      Substantiate your iCrap claim please

      jaco.botha.142 - 2012-08-01 08:49

      Every competitor asks the same question: 'can it do what apple does?'

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-08-01 08:53

      And Apple steal from others...the mouse, the tablet....

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-08-01 09:52

      What utter nonsense. Apple copy others all the time, why just the other day they copied Microsoft by moving to an Intel based architecture. The 'iphone' that everyone bleats about being so amazing, merely an incremental improvement on smartphones made by others (In many ways it is actually worse than earlier smartphones - so the improvement part is debatable), the innovative look they are crying about, a clear direct copy of an earlier LG smartphone. In making the iphone they trampled over thousands of patents from competitors like Nokia (Real patents on real technology not this "look and feel" nonsense you are crying about) without paying royalties yet I don't see you bleating about that... There claims about copying mostly hinge on the fact that they are both black and both have round corners? How many other ways are there to design such a device really? You don't think that maybe everyone just does this because it makes sense? Apple has really innovated very little in the field of computers. All they have really done is released overpriced but good looking devices coupled with ample hype that appeals to the 'trendy' crowd. They have also done it with pretty good timing. But I challenge you please name 1 thing that the iphone did that was innovative and unique, and I bet I can tell you where and who they copied it from.

      Stirrer - 2012-08-01 10:14

      @Malcolm: "But I challenge you please name 1 thing that the iphone did that was innovative and unique". That's easy: The exorbitant price.

      merven.halo - 2012-08-01 10:53

      @Ben - what an idiotic statement, the mouse nor the tablet is patented.

      loodpil.lipdool - 2012-08-01 11:47

      Only cool thing Apple ever came up with was the 4-channel Amiga module. Anyone here remember those mod files ?

      ethanhawk385 - 2012-08-01 12:29

      And yet Apple copied sony !!!!!!

      koo.doyle - 2012-08-01 13:33

      On what do you base that load of bull Jevon?

  • teagan.robinson.56 - 2012-08-01 07:52

    I have the Samsung Galaxy S3, great phone....... it is very similar to the iphone

      jean.rossouwsa - 2012-08-01 10:46

      No it is not! It is however Bigger, thinner and better!!!

      ethanhawk385 - 2012-08-01 11:45

      Hey Jean, the S3 has the ability to take a micro SD card, iphone can't, the s3 has a much more powerful processor and quad core, apple have a older dual core processor. Samsung use android which is free, the battery life is twice as long in the s3, the music player is better, the screen is better, the sound quality is better, the wireless access point is better, you can surf web sites that need flash, apple can't !!!!!

      koo.doyle - 2012-08-01 13:34

      The Galaxy SIII is a MUCH nicer device.

  • Taita - 2012-08-01 07:52

    And this ladies and gentleman is why I dislike Apple so much. Their motto is " If we can't beat em, let's sue them.". And Apple fan boys that is sure to flame here, get off your high horses. Your devices were overtaken 2 generations back already. I seriously dislike Apple for their ways, not for their products.

      JohncarlosBiza - 2012-08-01 08:25

      Same here. I dislike their brand, not their technology

      renny.meere - 2012-08-01 08:29

      I agree. The new iphone to be released next month will feature a bigger screen, aren't they just copying the the Galaxy S3 as well. Apple is running out of ideas, they phones have become outdated & boring, I know this cos I own one.

      Gerald - 2012-08-01 08:32

      Actually, I do dislike their tech...OS closed up, can't tinker with it, can't see or be seen by other Bluetooth devices...Rigid

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-08-01 09:54

      I dislike the brand but to be honest the technology is equally atrocious. OSX for example is absolutely terrible in every possible way, worst operating system I have ever had to use.

      pete.oosthuizen.7 - 2012-08-01 14:44

      I agree, apple OSX is ridiculous, their technology for the price is very weak. Spend the same on a PC and there is no comparison at all.

  • hamish.drake1 - 2012-08-01 08:15

    The biggest joke is that Samsung manufactures components for the iPhone. 30% of your iPhone is made by Samsung. I would love to see Samsung close the factories on Apple's ass.

      merven.halo - 2012-08-01 11:01

      iPhone parts, Samsung parts, all made in China.

  • fanie.viljoen.73 - 2012-08-01 08:24

    If Apple is so innovative, why waste all this time and not just inventing something even better. I reckon without Steve Jobs the ideas ran out.

  • templar.known - 2012-08-01 08:31

    I don't see any of the German car manufacturers suing the Koreans for cloning their car designs. These kids at Apple should grow up.

      mulalo.makhale - 2012-08-01 10:15

      Lol, they should just grow up indeed

  • Jeffrey Mangz Longwe - 2012-08-01 08:38

    Its 2012 for petes sake, copying others is actually part of innovation. All that patents do is block progress. Its about making the most money out of the new features you came up with as quick as possible. This is an embarasment to the technology sector as normally newly created methods are given out for free for the better of others. Does not mean it will hamper your business.

      WarrenStylin - 2012-08-01 14:29

      I think you are right. Just imagine if nobody copied Henry Ford. We would all be driving Ford's and no one would see the likes of Lamborghini, Ferrari or Bugatti.

  • alisha.abad.7 - 2012-08-01 08:41

    Too late to cry. The horse has already bolted out the door and in the lead.

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-08-01 08:54

    Apple is just pissed cause somebody is selling quality en superior tech for a change instead of a lifestyle or look.

  • adrian.tyler - 2012-08-01 09:03

    This is seriously stupid. I don't see football makers, for example, suing each other because of 'copied' designs. This is how it goes people, one way of doing things becomes acceptable and everybody will do it that way. Apple can take their patents and stick it, or better yet, they can come patent my ass and enjoy kissing it all day.

  • JevonMarshallJohnson - 2012-08-01 09:30

    And how many mp3 players look identical to an iPod.......use your brains.

      mulalo.makhale - 2012-08-01 10:17

      Apple is just bitter because Samsung devices are selling like candies

  • crazyjourno - 2012-08-01 10:56

    Okay, but what happens to the consumer at the end? I have the new Apple Ipad and a Samsung Galazy S III... Fan of both, 'cos both are pretty AMAZING... Will we be affected if the jurors favour one over the other??

  • boltonbarry - 2012-08-01 12:00,16559.html And this is the madness that is the iCrap corporation

  • ignovr - 2012-08-01 13:02

    And the wonderful thing while apple is batteling the real innovators at microsft still own the itc market and is slowly making there way into the tablet market with windows 8 that will for the first time be a proper device that can actually be used as both tablet and laptop and is compatible with all the miilions of software that we as normal people actually use everyday....

      malcolm.macleod.562 - 2012-08-01 13:30

      Sounds nice, but you are ignoring the fact that windows tablets have a completely different CPU architecture to desktop computers and therefore won't actually be able to run any of these 'millions of software' It will make it easier for some of that software to be ported onto tablets but it is a far cry from the silver bullet you are proclaiming.

      AwesomeF1 - 2012-08-01 15:08

      Microsft now there is a rip off! How many thousands of rands are needed to drive a pc with only an OS and Office. Innovators at times but so so bloated. Their first public loss speaks volumes in my opinion ...

  • maven.punk.5 - 2012-08-01 13:31

    I really feel sorry for all you deluded brainwashed consumers defining yourself by your possessions. I own xxx it is so cool, I am so cool. No your not, you did not make it, you did not invent it, you just bought it. L.O.L.

  • mbonyathi - 2012-08-01 16:12

    Samsung design phones for humans and how about apple?

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