It’s the big one, the jury selection has started for what promises to be one of the biggest legal battles seen in the world of technology ever. With billions of dollars at stake these two mobile giants account for more than half the sales of smart phone across the world, that’s a lot of iPhones and Galaxy’s floating around!
Apple were the first to throw a hissy fit by issuing a lawsuit to Samsung last year to which Samsung responded by launching their own countersuit right back. These two have spent the past year snipping at one another, now with various countries banning sales of various products and smaller court room battles this proves to be one of the largest court battles ever seen. The level of details and technical specifications of the intellectual property rights alone will make this an incredibly complicated trial and with no offense meant to the average American who will be sitting on the jury, some are calling into questions whether the level of technical detail might be too sophisticated.
2 – 0 To Apple
Apple already have an early advantage without a single day in court yet, because Apple filed the original suit the trial will be taking place in its home town of Silicon Valley – where it just so happens to have the added advantage of being a major employer. Another win for Apple came a few weeks when a US judge halted the sales of the Galaxy Tab. This has only been done on the condition Apple posts the bond money to cover costs and damages to Samsung if they end up losing their suit.
So What’s Their Beef?
The very core of this trial focuses on what Apple is calling patent breeches and trade mark violations. The obvious one is the aesthetical aspects, there’s no denying when you look at the iPhone next to a Galaxy there are a lot of similarities. They have a similar rectangular face with the one large button front and centre. Apple are also claiming there are several features in the interface which have been copied too, namely the bounce back feature and tap to zoom.
You don’t need a jury to tell you this one is true, yes you can double tap a page in a browser on the Galaxy and it zooms in to fit a mobile screen in the same way the iPhone does and yes once you’ve finished scrolling to the bottom of a screen it does that little bounce thing (does that really serve a practical application anyway?). Samsung are arguing these features are insignificant because no one buys a smart phone based on these little quirks and therefore these could not have damaged Apple’s profits which is after all the whole point of the trial.
Why The Countersuit?
Samsung are adamant they were working on a new look and design for their next generation of smart phones when Apple unveiled their iPhone and they claim they can prove this. They also claim that if anyone was copying anyone’s work it was Apple copying Sony and Samsung have even managed to get their hands on some original concept designs by Apple which were clearly inspired by Sony. Apple has asked this piece of evidence is not presented to the jury. Of course Samsung also have a few nifty bits of tech it claims Apple have stolen from them, only because it’s internal tech (that we can’t see) no one notices it as easily. Samsung claim some of their 3G technology has been used by Apple and although this technology is called a standard-essential patent, and basically fair game for anyone to use, anyone who does use it still has to pay something to the original creator. This is something Samsung are claiming Apple hasn’t done.
Jessica writes for businessmobiles.co.uk and will be keeping a close eye on this trial as it evolves over the next few weeks.