Business

Epic patent trial over iPhone technology wraps up

Wednesday, August 22, 2012    

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California, USA - A lawyer for Apple said yesterday that Samsung was having a "crisis of design" after the launch of the iPhone, and executives with the South Korean company were determined to cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.

The claim came during closing arguments at the multibillion-dollar patent trial involving the world's biggest smartphone companies, after last-minute talks between chief executives failed to resolve the dispute.

Apple argues that Samsung Electronics Co should pay the Cupertino-based company US$2.5 billion for ripping off its iPhone and iPad technology.

Apple's lead attorney, Harold McElhinny, told jurors yesterday that Apple confronted Samsung about the alleged copying before filing its lawsuit last year.

"Instead of doing the right thing, Samsung decided to gin up claims of its own," McElhinny said of Samsung's counter-claim seeking US$399 million from Apple for allegedly using Samsung technology in making the iconic iPhone and iPad.

Apple is also demanding that Samsung pull its most popular cellphones and computer tablets from the US market.

McElhinny said Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablet using stolen — "infringed" — Apple technology since June 2010 on sales of US$8.16 billion.

"The damages in this case should be large because the infringement has been massive," he said.

Lawyers for Samsung were expected to deliver their closing arguments later in one of the biggest technology disputes in history.

Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales.

The jury of nine men and women could start deliberations today after hearing three weeks of testimony from technology experts, patent professionals and company executives.

Apple's damage demands, if awarded, would represent the largest patent verdict in the US. An appeals court last year overturned what had been the largest award to date — a US$1.8-billion judgement against pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories.

From the beginning, legal experts and Wall Street analysts have viewed Samsung as the underdog. To begin with, Apple's headquarters is a mere 10 miles from the courthouse, and jurors were picked from the heart of Silicon Valley where the company's late founder Steve Jobs is a revered technological pioneer.

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