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.”