Apple-Samsung Case Heads to Jury Deliberation

by Jordan Richardson on August 22, 2012

The nine-person jury of the Apple-Samsung patent trial will commence deliberations on Wednesday. They heard closing arguments on Tuesday in federal court in California and will now be called upon to make a decision.

The case has been argued since the beginning of the month and could result in billions of dollars in fines levied, depending of course on how the jury rules. Samsung and Apple are currently fighting a number of legal battles around the world, but the San Jose-based trial is the most closely-watched and arguably the most important.

During his closing argument, Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny reviewed hundreds of pages of evidence and testimony for the jury. In his concluding remarks, the Cupertino company’s legal counsel reiterated their notion that Samsung had deliberately produced “iPhone knock-offs.”

Included in the documentation presented by Apple was an internal Samsung analysis from 2007 that discussed the iPhone’s “strengths” and featured laudatory press releases. “In 2007, Steve Jobs shocked the phone world,” McElhinny said. “A four year effort had paid off. Apple turned over its future to designers and they came up with the iPhone.”

Samsung countered that the designs of the products were similar because of “natural product evolution.”

Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven confirmed that Apple hadn’t presented any evidence of consumers “being confused” by the two designs. “The real reason Apple is bringing this case is because rather than compete in the marketplace, Apple is seeking a competitive edge in the courtroom,” he said. The company believes “it’s entitled to having a monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a large screen. It’s amazing really.”

If the jury sides with Apple in the trial, the judge could actually triple the damages the company is seeking and Samsung will be paying out big time. This could occur if it turns out that Samsung is found guilty of “wilful misconduct.”

The suit currently sees the world’s most valuable company seeking $2.5 billion in damages and claiming that Samsung’s “copycat” products were injurious to their bottom line. Apple is also asking for a sales ban on the Samsung products involved in the patent litigation case.

The case could have far-reaching implications to the entire industry, as the jury’s decision will render a clear (somewhat) line in the sand between innovation and creativity. An already tenuous industry could become even more skittish when it comes to development, as companies worry about whether they’re stepping on the patented toes of the competition when pushing out new products.

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