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Apple Rests Their Case In The Samsung V Apple Trial, But Did They Prove Anything?

by on13 August 2012 2523 times
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Apple rested their case today in the Samsung V Apple trial currently underway. Apple’s last big hurrah was parade their licensing chief in front of the jury. From looking at the testimony it was an attempt to show how much Apple tries to cooperate with the competitors. We are not sure that their effort was successful though. The primary focus was to put in a value on the “infringement” that Apple claims Samsung is guilty of.

Apple Patent Licensing Director Boris Teksler made multiple comments to layout Apple’s claims including bringing up a cross licensing deal with Microsoft (without going into too many details). In the deal with Microsoft Apple licensed their design patents, but stipulated that there could be no cloning. This is intended to mean that Microsoft would be allowed to use features of Apple’s design patents, but not to make an exact clone. What would be interesting to know is if the patent deal was initiated by Apple or Microsoft. If Microsoft approached Apple it would be better than if Apple approached Microsoft. The reason this it true is that Apple may have needed something from Microsoft to make their products work and Microsoft demanded something in return (the design patents). There is some speculation that Apple needed the Active-Sync patent along with some other patents that related to mobile notifications for events.  If this is the case then Microsoft was not concerned with the design patents, but took them as a concession along with other items we are sure.

Again Teksler was attempting to show that they do license out their design patents and that Samsung violated these patents. The problem with this is that even when Apple presented their original claim that Samsung was copying Apple did not mention any design patents. Teksler’s excuse was that the patents were still pending on the design but were granted before the initial suits were actually filed. If you think about this it makes no sense. Apple had a design patent filed and in pending status, why wouldn’t they bring this up then? This is another case where one witness is contradicting another. Remember that Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing stated that “I was pretty shocked when I saw the Galaxy S phone and the extent to which it appeared to copy Apple’s products,” and “My first thought was they’re going to steal our whole product line.”

Now the Galaxy S was released in March 2010 so they already claim that is was a copy of the Apple iPhone in looks and function yet they want you to believe they were not going to bring this up to Samsung in their licensing agreement? They asked for $30 for every touchscreen phone and $40 per tablet (remember that Apple only want to pay .1 cent to use Samsung’s Patented technology). Are we to believe that this is all for UI features and icons? According to their currently filed documents they do not feel these features are worth that much as the majority of what they are asking is all trade dress covered under the design patent and this was in October of 2010 after the design patent was granted for the original iPhone (April 2010) and one month before the design patent for the iPhone 4 was granted. It looks like Apple forgot all about the design issues in their talks with Samsung, but decided to use them as leverage in the later suit. This sounds more and more like a case of Apple wanting to make a deal to get better pricing on Samsung parts and technology using the claim of copying as leverage. When it failed Apple threw in the extra design patents to bolster their case.

Samsung as predicted asked for a judgment as a Matter of Law that Apple had not been able to prove their case. Judge Koh denied it. This is not unexpected from her as she also granted the preliminary injunction against Samsung so regardless of the facts at hand she feels at some level that Apple will win. Judge Koh did thrown out three phones in the case because they are global phones and not for direct sale in the US. Why she waited this long to do this we are not sure. To be honest they should have been thrown out at the beginning when it was found that they were not US phones.

After Apple’s turn was up Samsung was able to get in a few witnesses all of who focused on Prior Art. The first witness was Benjamin Bederson who was the chief scientist and co-founder of Zumobi , a mobile company. Bederson helped to create a UI called LaunchTile. This UI was used with Microsoft PocketPC (and Windows Mobile OS) as far back as November 2004. Samsung also brought up witnesses who were working on touch operating systems as far back as 2001. These witnesses are all intended to show that multi-touch and the icon based mobile world we live in was an obvious and natural progression with multiple companies working on this long before Apple got into the game with the iPhone. Still you can expect a slew of articles claiming that Apple has won the trial already (we read one that claimed “the writing is on the wall”)
 
Samsung is likely to save their best for last as that will have the most impact on the jury. For the next few days we expect the ground work to be laid to give the jury enough information to see just much was there to inspire everyone including the inspiration that Steve Jobs and his team took to create the iPhone. They want the jury to feel it is ridiculous for Apple to think of it as inspiration when they borrow ideas from others and slavish copying when someone else does. Like we said before Quinn and the rest of Samsung’s lawyers are better tacticians that Apple. In war you always prepare the battle field before you fight, even when that battle field in in your enemy’s back yard.

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Last modified on 13 August 2012
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