Apple, Samsung have their final say in court

August 22, 2012

Apple and Samsung had their chance to sum up the past three weeks of litigation Tuesday, as they presented their closing arguments before a jury in San Jose, Calif.

Lawyers for both sides repeated the high notes in the information they presented to the nine men and women who are now weighing decisions that could award billions of dollars in damages — potentially the largest patent verdict award in U.S. history.

Jurors now have to decide between two story lines. There’s Samsung’s contention that Apple is not the innovator it claims to be and that its designs are not the revolution they’re often made out to be. And there’s Apple’s argument that Samsung took a shortcut to launching its smartphones and tablets by cribbing notes from Apple’s years of research to turn out copycat products.

Apple lawyers Harold McElhinny and Bill Lee, Reuters reported, riffed off of the phrases in Apple’s past statements on the lawsuit: Apple isn’t trying to stifle competition. It just wants people to invent their own stuff.

The iPhone, McElhinny said, is “possibly the most famous product in the world,” pointing to media coverage of the device’s launch in 2007. At that time, Samsung was saying in internal documents that the phone was a “revolution,” the lawyer said, according to San Jose Mercury News reporter Howard Mintz’s live blog of the trial. McElhinny revisited a a Samsung document from 2010 that compared the Korean company’s phones with Apple’s, which concluded, exhaustively, that Samsung should be emulating many of Apple’s ideas, Mintz reported.

Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven also stuck to his guns, saying that Apple thinks “it’s entitled to having a monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a large screen. It’s amazing, really,” Reuters reported.

Verhoeven sketched a picture of the company as one that would rather compete in the courtroom than in the marketplace. Verhoeven said that Apple has failed to prove that consumers buying tablets and smartphones are confused about the difference between Apple and Samsung products.

“Your decision, if it goes Apple’s way, could change the way competition works in this country,” Verhoeven told the jury, according to Mintz.

The jury is set to begin its deliberations — as set down in a 109-page instruction document — at noon, Eastern time.

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Apple, Samsung set to wrap up cases

AP: Apple lawyer in epic patent case says Samsung wanted to cash in on iPhone success

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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