Apple Continues To Argue That Samsung Copied The iPhone, Samsung Calls It American-Style Competition

Apple Continues To Argue That Samsung Copied The iPhone, Samsung Calls It American-Style Competition

Today, Apple and Samsung both presented their opening arguments in front of US District Court Judge Lucy Koh in the second day of the legal case originally brought by Apple against Samsung for patent infringement. Samsung countersued, claiming its own patents were infringed upon. Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846 began yesterday with jury selection, and opening statements were made today, along with some expert testimony by Apple designer Christopher Stringer.

Not surprisingly, Apple believes that Samsung has copied the iPhone wholesale. Korea-based Samsung continues to repeat that it has not copied anything, but rather a simple matter of American-style competition.

Lawyers for both sides squared off today in court with their opening arguments.

Apple has a lot to prove here in order to maintain it’s reputation as an innovator, not a mere marketer, of high end consumer electronic devices, specifically the iPhone and iPad. Samsung faces a continuation of sales bans, and the possibility of having to admit they copied design elements directly from a competitor. Together, the companies own half the mobile device market in the US alone, and are reliant on each other in many ways. Samsung makes many of the components of the popular devices that Apple then orders from them.

While Apple’s attorney, Harold McElhinny, argued that Samsung’s own internal product analyses show a deliberate copying of the iPhone, Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven said that everyone does it.

“It’s called competition,” Verhoeven said. “That’s what we do in America.”

In the courtroom, both parties used a variety of documents and images to make their points. McElhinny showed slides showing a marked shift in Samsung design from older, pre-iPhone Samsung phones and then compared them to newer devices from 2010, which is after the launch of the iPhone.

“Artists don’t laugh that often when people steal their designs,” McElhinny said, expressing outrage on behalf of his Cupertino-based client.

Samsung’s lawyer, Verhoeven, said that the features in the iPhone had already been thought up.

“Samsung is not some copyist, some Johnny-come-lately doing knockoffs,” he told the jurors, adding, “There’s a distinction between commercial success and inventing something.”

Apple’s lawyer then showed jurors an internal Samsung document which said the iPhone’s hardware was “easy to copy.” Verhoeven countered by saying, again, that all companies bring in competitor’s products to compete.

“The evidence will be that Apple has made that vision a reality,” said Apple’s McElhinny, “so much that it really is hard to remember what phones looked like before.”

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  • mr_bee

    The thing I like about this trial is it shows what kind of a site CultOfMac is. Usuually there are dozens of commenters fighting over the fluffy articles here, but when something serious happens like this trial, suddenly CoM is like a ghost town. :-)

    i.e.- no one takes you seriously guys. Better get back to reporting on the Lisa Frank app and selling dodgy deals to suckers!

  • Rob LeFebvre

    The thing I like about this trial is it shows what kind of a site CultOfMac is. Usuually there are dozens of commenters fighting over the fluffy articles here, but when something serious happens like this trial, suddenly CoM is like a ghost town. :-)

    i.e.- no one takes you seriously guys. Better get back to reporting on the Lisa Frank app and selling dodgy deals to suckers!

    OK, I’m confused – why are YOU here? And do you think this post is un-serious? I’m not sure of your point.

  • Lars Pallesen

    The thing I like about this trial is it shows what kind of a site CultOfMac is. Usuually there are dozens of commenters fighting over the fluffy articles here, but when something serious happens like this trial, suddenly CoM is like a ghost town. :-)

    i.e.- no one takes you seriously guys. Better get back to reporting on the Lisa Frank app and selling dodgy deals to suckers!

    Your comment makes no sense what so ever. This article is simply quoting verbatim what both sides were arguing in the courtroom today. It’s called reporting.

  • Lars Pallesen

    So, basically Samsung is arguing that in order to compete with the iPhone you need to wholesale copy the iPhone?

    I’d like to present exhibit A, your Honour: Nokia’s line of Lumia phones.

    Is it a modern touch-based smartphone made to compete with the iPhone? Yes. Does it look anything like an iPhone? No.
    Oh, and you may also notice the OS it runs, Windows Phone. Is it a modern smartphone OS? Yes. Does it look like iOS? No.

    Has Apple accused Nokia or Microsoft of copying the iPhone? Nope.

    You were saying, Samsung … ?

  • Steven Zahl

    More like CHINA-like competition.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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