Apple and Samsung trade accusations in first day of $2.5bn patent battle

By Sooraj Shah
01 Aug 2012 View Comments
The iPhone 4v and the Samsung Galaxy smartphone

In what has been billed as the biggest patent battle ever, lawyers representing Apple and Samsung traded verbal blows in the opening round of the legal battle. 

The four-week trial began in San Jose, California yesterday. Apple is looking for more than $2.5bn (£1.6bn) in damages for what it says are deliberate infringements of patents deployed in its iPhone range.

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Samsung, meanwhile, has countersued Apple, claiming that it infringed five of its mobile technology patents and also attempted to obtain royalties from iPhones that have already been sold. 

Apple's opening statement included evidence from an internal review that Samsung carried out of the iPhone in 2007. The iPhone is described by Samsung as "easy to copy", while the report concluded that "competing with the iPhone is inevitable".

In Samsung's defence, it stated there was nothing wrong with being inspired by the iPhone as a competitor. It stated that Apple itself had been inspired by ideas and designs developed at Sony. 

Representing Apple, Harold McElhinny of law firm Morrison & Foerster said that Samsung "copying the iPad was not accidental, but intentional".

He emphasised that although products from rival companies can have the same function, this does not mean that there is necessarily a single way of designing it. 

McElhinny was referring to rectangular Apple products with rounded corners and large screens. Apple is claiming the rectangular shape of its products as part of the intellectual property of its design.

Countering this, Samsung said Apple "had no right" to claim that it invented the concept as it was "already out there".

The trial is expected to last for several weeks.

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