Apple and Samsung have taken to a US court in a dispute that could cost either company billions, and change the smartphone and tablet market. Here’s a bit of a run down on what’s at stake. We’ll update this on a daily basis so you can see how it unravels.
Day 20: Friday 24 August
On Friday morning the news came in that in a similar patent dispute trial happening simultaneously in South Korea the court had adjudged that Apple and Samsung both violated one another’s patents. The court in that case has returned a mixed verdict that sees both Apple and Samsung fined, and various tablet and smartphone products from both firms banned from sale in that country.
The Korean court determined that Samsung copied the ‘bounce-back’ interface feature, it determined, but did not copy the overall design of Apple’s iPad and iPhone.
The court banned the sale of the iPad 1 and iPad 2 in South Korea, along with the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (more recent launches were unaffected). Samsung will not be allowed to sell the Galaxy S and S2, the Galaxy Tab tablet and 9 other mobile products in South Korea. Yes, it’s true: Apple iPhone banned in patent trial verdict… in Korea
However, on this the anniversary of late CEO Steve Jobs resignation, a reward was in store for Apple. In the morning on Saturday, came the announcement that the Jury decided in Apple’s favour, Samsung hit with US$1B damages. (That’s less than the half of the US$2.75 billion in damages Apple was seeking).
In most instances the jury found products of the Korean company and two of its US subsidiaries infringed and violated several of Apple’s technology and design patents and also concluded that, despite Samsung’s claims to the contrary, Apple did not violate any Samsung patents.
The jury also found that Samsung infringed Apple’s patents wilfully, or knowingly. In those circumstances a judge can often award treble damages
Samsung later said in a statement, “It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apples claims.”
Day 19: Thursday 23 August
The nine-person jury was scheduled to work from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. But on Thursday they decided that they would work an extra hour, no doubt because of the complex verdict form that demands more than 700 individual decisions be made. Before they sat down to begin deliberations they received 109 pages of jury instructions, which took more than two hours to read to them in court earlier in the week.
Day 18: Wednesday 22 August
The nine-person California jury are now set to began their deliberations, but according to Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry, whatever that verdict turns out to be, the ultimate resolution of the conflicts between the companies will be a cross-licensing agreement with a negligible exchange of cash.
If the jury finds in favour of Apple, he reasoned, Samsung will use its 64,976 mobile patents to force Apple to settle the case as it winds its way through the appeals process.
If Samsung wins the case, Apple will use its 8991 patents to force a settlement from the South Korean company.
Plus, Chowdhry noted, Google will use its 14,770 mobile patents to defend its OEM partners, which includes Samsung.
Day 17: Tuesday 21 August – closing arguments
Closing arguments took place on Tuesday. During a 75-minute presentation, Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny reviewed some of the many hundreds of pages of evidence and testimony produced during the case and presented them as evidence that Samsung deliberately sought to produce what McElhinny called “iPhone knock-offs.”
“Samsung makes fun of our damages claim. They make fun of us for asking for billions of dollars,” McEhinny said. “The damages should be large because the infringement is massive.” Apple’s closing arguments summarised
Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven didn’t argue that the phones weren’t similar. Instead, he countered that similarities in the design were due to natural product evolution in the phone industry and that no evidence was presented showing consumers being confused by phones from the two companies.
Apple is “asking you to prevent its biggest competitor from giving consumers what they want — smartphones with big screens,” Verhoeven claimed.
Judge Lucy Koh also read instructions to the jury, including telling them that they must not accept software updates for the devices or install apps.
The final jury instructions run to 109 pages, in an effort to keep the court awake while reading through the instructions on Tuesday afternoon, Judge Koh said: ”I need everyone to stay conscious during the reading of instructions, including myself, so we’re going to stand up occasionally to make sure the blood is still flowing.”
Day 16: Monday 20 August – 700+ questions for jury
Apple and Samsung bosses failed to reach a settlement in last-minute talks so the trial will now proceed to a jury verdict.
You may want to pity the jury – there are 700 questions on the verdict form that members of the jury have to fill in.
Jurors will have to decide not only if Samsung Electronics infringed on the patents, but also whether its subsidiaries, Samsung Electronics America and Samsung Telecommunications, did so as well. And they will have to do so for up to 24 individual handsets.
The jury will start deliberatings following the closing arguments on Tuesday.
Day 15: Friday 17 August – are lawyers ‘smoking crack’?
Friday’s two biggest stories couldn’t be more different. Initially Judge Lucy Koh surprised everyone by yelling at Apple’s dawdling legal team, who seemed to be running out of time to present all their witnesses but then gave her a 75-page list of objections related to the witnesses that probably wouldn’t have time to appear.
“You want me to do an order on 75 pages tonight? When, unless you’re smoking crack, you know that these witnesses are not going to be called?” Koh asked. “Who is going to call all these witnesses when you have less than four hours left?”
Then things calmed right down, and Samsung – which was running up against a time shortage itself – managed to finish off its testimony and wrap up with a claim for damages. The final figure that Samsung is seeking from Apple is… US$421.8m.
Day 14: Thursday 16 August – CEOs told to ‘make peace’ and discuss settlement
Judge Lucy Koh has told Apple and Samsung that it’s ”time for peace”, and warned them that both companies would be taking a risk if the trial proceeded to a verdict.
The judge in the case instructed the CEOs of Apple and Samsung to speak and discuss a settlement at least once a week.
DAY 12: Tuesday 14 August – More Samsung witnesses
Tuesday saw Samsung try and argue that Apple’s patents are invalidated by prior art, and a Samsung employee took the stand to claim that she hadn’t looked for inspiration from Apple icons, only to be shown a document, with her name on it, that discussed Apple icons.
Samsung’s user experience designer Jeeyuen Wang, who testified in Korean via an interpreter, said that she did not copy Apple’s icons when designing the Galaxy Tab’s iconography. When asked whether it was true that she hadn’t referenced Apple’s icons Wang said: “Yes, that is correct”. Unfortunately for Wang, Apple’s lawyer was able to produce another damning Samsung document with her name on. This document called ‘Mobile Icon Design for 2011’ discusses the importance of icon design and compares icons from the iPhone and other technology products.
Jurors also saw a video of a prototype tablet that could be used for displaying newspapers. And a projector table that had some similar click-and-drag style features.
DAY 11: Monday 13 August – Samsung’s witnesses
Samsung’s defence rests on proving that its products don’t infringe on Apple’s patents. Since it’s unlikely that Samsung will prove that its products do not infringe Apple’s patents, it’s attempting to convince at least one member of the jury that Apple should never have been granted the patents in question (the jury needs to be unanimous in its decision).
Samsung began its attempts to prove prior art to invalidate Apple’s rubber-band (‘381) and pinch-to-zoom (‘915) patents. Called as witnesses were inventors of technolgies that Samsung believes use similar features. However, Apple’s lawyers were able to argue that these early examples were not identical to Apple’s patents.
Samsung also argued that because Apple was struggling to meet demand for the iPhone 4 at the time it Apple is claiming Samsung benefited from sales of devices that people mistook for iPhones, Apple wouldn’t have been able to sell iPhones, and therefore can’t claim lost sales.
Samsung managed to get the judge to agree to leave out three phones from the trial. Apple managed to get the judge to agree that President of Samsung Telecommunications America, Dale Sohn, should not speak at the trial.
Apple also managed to get the judge to agree that the principle designer of the Samsung F700 should not testify. In a filing she claims that the design patents for that phone were filed in December 2006 (before the first iPhone launched), she says her inspiration was a bowl of water. Read: Samsung designer was inspired by ‘bowl of water’ not Apple
There’s no such thing as a weekend if you are a lawyer… Samsung and Apple were called in for detention on Sunday by the judge in the ongoing Apple v Samsung trial. She told them to meet up and go through the jury instructions.
Good for a laugh: This site has a great side by side comparison of various Apple and Samsung products.
DAY 10: Friday 9 August – Apple offered patent deal to Samsung in 2010
Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs and then COO Tim Cook offered Samsung a licensing deal back in October 2010 having created a document identifying instances where they believed Samsung was using their patents earlier that year. The terms of Apple’s offer would have seen Samsung paying $30 per device, with discount options if they played the game. Read: Apple offered patents to Samsung in 2010.
There was also plenty of cross examination of market research experts who sought to prove that consumers were confused by the similarities between Apple and Samsung devices.
DAY 8: Wednesday 8 August & DAY 9: Thursday 9 August
So far the trial has only convened on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. But the lack of court-side action doesn’t stem the flow of informaton relating to the case.
We’ve seen confidential US sales data emerge that details exactly how many iPads, iPhones and iPod touches have book sold. It turns out that over the life of the products, Apple has seen revenues of US$50,703m for the 85,956m iPhones, US$19.074m for the 34,002m iPads, and US$46,551m for the 46,551m iPod touch in the US. See: Court filings in Apple v Samsung reveal iPhone, iPad US sales data.
Since 2007 Apple has sold 85 million iPhones in the US. In the past two years Samsung has sold 21.25 million phones.
It also emerged that jurors in the Apple Samsung case have had a pay rise of US$10, bringing their ‘salary’ to US$50 per day for each day they serve beyond 10 days. AllThingsD suggests that this is a pittance when compared to what the attorneys, consultants and other experts are being paid.
Wednesday also saw Judge Paul Grewal question whether the relevant paperwork had been submitted for the appearance earlier in the week of a Samsung lawyer. It turned out that Susan Estrich is not allowed to practise law in the court – a paperwork mixup that could lead to penalties for the Korean electronics giant. Estrich, is a high-profile lawyer and law professor at the University of Southern California law school is a legal contributor to Fox News, read more here. She had argued that a deleted Samsung email couldn’t be used in the case against Apple. Read: Apple/Samsung trial: Samsung lawyer ‘can’t practise law in court’
Wondering about the judge in the case? Koh is the first Korean-American to ever serve as a district court judge, according to her Harvard Law School biog, writes Reuters.
DAY 7: Tuesday 7 August
Tuesday saw Icon designer Susan Kare testify in the Apple v Samsung trial. Kare testified that she found the icons and layout of the screens of the Galaxy S and Epic 4G to be similar to the iPhone. She pointed to the rounded corners of the icons, places on an evenly spaced grid, she said: “It is my opinion that the overall collection of graphic features that makes the overall visual impression could be confusing to a consumer.” She was questioned by Samsung’s attorney Charles Verhoeven about whether Apple “owns green for go” when the fact that Samsung’s phone icon is a green handset, similar to Apple’s icon.
During the day a 132-page Samsung document that compared the iPhone to the Galaxy S phone was discussed. That document evaluates the two devices and comes up with recommendations about what Samsung should do. In many cases the answer is to make it more like the iPhone.
Wondering how Apple arrived at the US$2.5 billion figure that it thinks Samsung should pay if found guilty? Read: Apple’s break down of Samsung’s fines
DAY 6: Monday 6 August – Samsung’s ‘crisis in design‘
Samsung strategy officer Justin Denison answered questions from an Apple lawyer about a Samsung email, which Samsung had tried to get excluded from the trial. The email discussed the impact of the iPhone and a “crisis in design” at Samsung. The email said the difference between Samsung and Apple smartphones was like “a difference between Heaven and Earth” and certainly did something to bolster Apple’s claim that Samsung had copied its design of the iPhone.
Also taking the stand on Monday was Peter Bressler, an industrial designer who Apple has paid a total of $75,000 (so far) for his expertise in patents. He pointed to similarities between various Samsung and Apple devices, but in questioning he was caught out by Samsung’s attorney when he couldn’t produce actual evidence of consumers being confused by the similarities.
Various stories were posted over the weekend, like this one, rounding up the insider information that has been revealed during the case. For example: Apple did work on a design for an iPhone with curved glass; it turns out Jobs liked the idea of a 7in iPad; Apple once considered making an iCar; Samsung has revealed plans for two new smartphones, and Samsung may launch a 11.8in Slate.
DAY 5: Friday 3 August – Schiller and Forstall
Judge Koh rejected Apple’s request for punishment of Samsung for improperly distributing excluded exhibits – no, she won’t rule in Apple’s favour just because Samsung was naughty. But while declining to impose the harsh sanction Apple had sought, she slammed both sides for a long string of objections and motions for reconsideration, some on questions that have been revisited as many as six times. She has told them that any more objections and motions that the two companies want to raise will have to be done in court – and that will eat into the 25 hours Apple and Samsung both have to present their case.
“I will not let any theatrics or any sideshow distract us from what we are here to do,” Koh said.
Regarding Samsung’s ‘unlawful’ leak to the press of so-called proof that Apple was influenced by a Sony product, reports emerged overnight that Samsung’s leaked ‘evidence’ was iPod-influenced Walkman. Also Samsung’s claim that the details were requested by press are being denied by some journalists who received the statement and images without asking for them.
We’re starting to think that Samsung’s decision to leak the information to the press may have done Apple a favour.
Also on day five Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller picked up where he left off on Tuesday, this time he spoke about his reaction when he saw the first Samsung Galaxy S phone, which he felt copied the iPhone. ”I was pretty shocked at the appearance of the Galaxy S phone“. Later said he was “even more shocked” when he first saw a Samsung tablet. He also revealed that Apple had spent more than US$1 billion on advertising for the iPhone and iPad combined over the life of the products. Samsung “dilutes the way customers see Apple” because of possible confusion between the two companies’ products, according to Schiller.
iOS chief Scott Forstall also took the stand in Apple and Samsung’s own Olympic battle. Forstall recalled the early development of the iPhone and iPad. Describing the big investment made to develop the challenging touchscreen interface. He said: “I personally dedicated years of my life to this, as did hundreds of people on this team, and it was very, very difficult.”
Forstall and Schiller revealed a number of other interesting snippets during their testimonies on Friday:
- In 2011 Apple exec Eddy Cue recommended making a 7in iPad – he referred to an article that criticised the iPad for its size and praised the 7in Samsung Galaxy Tab. “I believe there will be a 7″ market and we should do one. I expressed this to (CEO) Steve (Jobs) several times since Thanksgiving and he seemed very receptive the last time,” Cue wrote.
- Apple has spent about US$1.1 billion on advertising the iPad and iPhone since the launch of the iPhone in 2007
- After the success of the iPod, Apple considered developing a car or a camera. Forstall revealed the success of the iPod persuaded Apple that it could be more than a computer company.
- The iPhone was called the “Purple Project” and took place in a highly secure workspace on Apple’s Cupertino campus called the “Purple Building.” The sign at the entrance said, “Fight Club,” because the Purple Building borrowed its cardinal rule from the movie of the same name.
DAY 4: Thursday 2 August -
There were no court proceedings on Thursday. It seems that the Judge Koh had her work cut out putting Samsung in its place after that company leaked inadmissible evidence to the press and then piled on one request after another.
The judge also ruled against Samsung using ’2001: A Space Odyssey’ as evidence in the trial. Samsung wanted to show a still from the film where astronauts are seen using rectangular tablet computers with, Samsung writes: “a dominant display screen, narrow boarders, a predominately flat front surface, and flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table’s surface), and a thin form factor”. See: ’2001: A Space Odyssey’ can’t be used as evidence in Apple v Samsung case
Samsung also complained that it’s not being treated fairly as a plaintiff, because its lawyers are seated further away from the Jury than Apple’s. Apple says that’s because it isn’t a plaintiff – Samsung is a defendant-counterclaimant - see Samsung wants to play musical chairs in court, judge says no.
Samsung also asked a the court to strike down Apple’s “self-serving” recommendation of sanctions against the company for revealing to the press documents that were not allowed as evidence in a patent dispute. Samsung stated that Apple’s request is an affront to the integrity of the jury.
Since the courtroom was empty Samsung attorney Christopher Stretch bought five Samsung witnesses, two interpreters, and three Samsung in-house attorneys, to see the Ceremonial Courtroom. He claims he was “unaware of any prohibition against visiting the Ceremonial Courtroom”. See: Samsung breaks rules, takes witnesses to see courtroom.
DAY 3: Wednesday 1 August -
Today’s headlines continued to be grabbed by Samsung’s audacity to send so-called evidence that the Judge Koh had ruled inadmissible to press the day before. See: Samsung gets wrath of judge after leaking so-called ‘evidence’ to the press
Apple filed its response to this “unethical” press leak and demanded that the company be sanctioned over it’s decision to leak so-called ‘evidence’ to the press.
DAY 2: Tuesday 31 July – Opening Statements
The selection of the jury took so long that the opening arguments were postponed to Tuesday. Each company is to spend up to 90 minutes presenting their opening statements.
Of the ten jurors selected on day one, one juror asked to be released as her employer wasn’t paying her while on the jury. Another of the ten claimed that she’s suffered panic attacks due to the stress of being asked to serve on the case; she was also dismissed. Another juror was late. Those two jurors were replaced.
Apple was first to present its opening statement. Apple counsel Harold McIlhenny showed the jury a selection of Samsung phones from 2006 featuring Qwerty keyboards with hardware buttons. He questioned how Samsung got from these earlier designs to the later designs. He also produced an internal Samsung document from September 2007 reviewing the iPhone’s impact. The document stated that competing with the iPhone “one way or the other is inevitable,” and also noted that the iPhone hardware was “easy to copy.”
Referring to the infringement claims bought by Samsung, Apple’s attorney William Lee suggested that they were only bought in reaction to Apple’s claims against the company. He also claimed that, with regards to Samsung’s Standards Essential Patents, since Apple buys the baseband chips from Intel, and Intel pays the licensing fee, Apple is not at fault.
Samsung claimed that its products do not copy Apple’s, it’s just competition. ”It’s called competition. That’s what we do in America.”
“Samsung is not some copyist, some Johnny-come-lately doing knockoffs,” Samsung’s lead attorney Charles Verhoeven said. He also noted that since Apple is one of Samsung’s biggest customers it’s not in its interest to sue it.
Day two of the trial also saw Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller began to testify. He began to discuss Apple’s New Product Process, and will continue to speak on day 3.
Apple industrial designer Chris Stringer was the first to testify in the case and worked on the original iPhone. He described Apple’s creative process and the “maniacal” team that comes up with the ideas.
Samsung didn’t start the day well - Samsung gets wrath of judge after leaking so-called ‘evidence’ to the press.
DAY 1: Monday 30 July – Jury Selection
Apple produces evidence of ‘Purple’ iPhone blueprints dating from 2005 – a year before Samsung claimed they copied a Sony design.
Samsung complains that Apple is being ‘unreasonable’ about rectangles.
The jury of 10 was selected after a rigorous interview process. Amongst the ten – which includes three women – we have an AT&T project manager.
Want an idea of just how many questions jurors could have been asked?