Yesterday, during closing arguments in the second Apple vs Samsung patent trial, Samsung’s lawyers repeated its claims that it doesn’t “owe Apple a nickel,” and said that “they’ll be dancing in the streets of Cupertino if you give them $100 million” of the $2.2B Apple claims.
Samsung is seemingly attempting a multi-pronged defence essentially amounting to ‘our phones didn’t infringe the patents, and even if they did, that’s down to Google, and even if we are responsible, the patents are not worth nearly as much as Apple says they are’ …
Apple, in contrast, says that Samsung had nothing resembling today’s smartphones before the iPhone, and that it blatantly copied patented features as a shortcut to developing its own solutions, reports the WSJ.
Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny, who kicked off its closing arguments, said the iPhone was a revolutionary product and it caught the industry off-guard.
“Where was Samsung before the iPhone? You know the answer to that one. They didn’t even have a smartphone,” said McElhinny.
About the amount claimed, Apple argues that it tried in vain to stop Samsung copying its features, that it would have been free to charge any amount it wanted had it chosen to license patents to Samsung, and that without a significant financial penalty, companies like Samsung will continue to copy its work.
One fly in the ointment had been a ruling in a separate case between Apple and Motorola, where the exact definition of a patent term had been debated. Apple’s patent for detecting and “hyperlinking” things like dates and phone numbers in messages and emails described the use of an “analyzer server.” Samsung argued that as its handsets didn’t rely on a server to identify linkable data, instead relying on the phone’s own software to do it, the patent doesn’t apply.
In the end, the court has left that point for the jury to decide. The jury will now have to complete a highly detailed, multi-page form to determine what devices infringed which patents, and the amount of damages that should be awarded.
In the previous patent case between the two companies, Apple was initially awarded $1B in damages before $450M was cut, with a retrial ordered to look again at the damages awarded for some of the patents. The retrial awarded Apple $290M instead for that portion of the case, giving Apple a revised total award of $930M.
In this case, Google has already agreed to partially or fully meet the costs of any award against Samsung on the basis that most of the alleged infringements relate to Android rather than specifically to Samsung handsets.