Apple, Samsung: Judge calls for ‘global peace’

December 7, 2012

Despite a call from the bench for “global peace,” Apple and Samsung continued to slug it out over patent issues in court late Thursday. The two companies continued their fights about damages, the possibility of an injunction and the outcome of the August jury trial that put Samsung on the hook for $1.05 billion in damages to Apple.

Lawyers for both sides stuck to their guns even as Judge Lucy Koh — who presided over the jury case as well — poked holes in their arguments and expressed frustration with the drawn-out dispute.

“Is there some endpoint here?” Koh asked both sides, according to a live-blogged court report from the San Jose Mercury News. Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny’s response — that the issue won’t be resolved until the court enforces the law — left Koh “despondent” and with her head in her hands, the report said.

As the courtroom drama may indicate, little new information came out of the hearing, though Koh appeared willing to review some of the jury’s calculations for damages, the Associated Press reported. She did not, however, give an indication that she favored one side’s arguments over the other’s.

Koh, however, did say that she wanted to be done with her rulings before the start of the new year, the Mercury News reported.

Meanwhile, Apple and Samsung are vying for gift buyers’ attentions in the thick of the holiday season. It’s a close race, and one that — for now — Samsung is winning by a slight margin. On Sunday, AppleInsider reported that comScore found Apple jumped to the second-place spot for market share for the first time since the firm began tracking data. The company has gained about 1.5 percent of the U.S. market for a total of 17.8 percent to Samsung'a 26.3 percent. Apple’s uptick is likely attributable to the launch of the iPhone 5 in September.

Worldwide, the numbers are slightly different, with the research firm IDC estimating that Samsung has a 56 percent hold on the smartphone market to Apple’s 15 percent, though those numbers do not account for sales of the iPhone 5.

The competition will only get fiercer as the companies continue to develop products.

The rumor mill is already spitting out an early but fairly steady stream of speculation about Apple’s next iPhone.

AppleInsider reported this week that a French site called “Nowhereelse.fr” has posted photos showing an iPhone with a very slightly tweaked internal back panel — though the blog notes this could also be a different testing prototype for the current iPhone.

There’s been no indication that Apple is planning to shorten its product cycle for the iPhone to compete more fully with Samsung’s larger product line, particularly since sales of the iPhone 5 have been strong since its September debut.

Related stories:

Apple, Samsung return to the trenches

On Leadership: Apple’s Tim Cook on creativity and changing your mind

Ideas@Innovations: Apple CEO Tim Cook’s giving philosophy

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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