Apple and Samsung fight over what made the iPhone 'revolutionary'

Ismael LynchMay 17, 2018

The third complaint was under the screen with Apple claiming that Samsung had copied the graphical user interface showing the layout of apps on its home screen.

In opening statements in a California federal damages trial, an eight-member jury was told by Apple lawyers that Samsung owes it more than $1 billion. "Samsung recognized they had a crisis of design and in 4 months- 4 months-came up with the infringing phones". After Samsung agreed to pay some damages, the case went to the US Supreme Court in 2016 and was returned to Koh with an order to revisit a $399 million portion of damages.

Samsung's laser focus on breaking down the three patents was evident, not only demonstrated by their lines of inquiry with the industrial and graphic design experts, but also when they questioned two computer scientists with the University of Toronto. The jury is considering all the facts and thinking about what amount Samsung should pay for all the damages that it has caused to Apple.

Samsung attorney John Quinn held up components to the jury, emphasizing that each was its own article of manufacture and that there are "hundreds of articles of manufacture inside a phone". This verdict has resulted that Samsung needs to give $930 million to Apple.

The conundrum for jurors: Are damages based on "the whole phone, kit and caboodle, or just the shell of the phone - into which Samsung put a bunch of stuff that's unrelated to the patent?"

Samsung has argued that consumers have other reasons to buy a phone other than its original design.

Speaking about the newly started trial, the core issue between the two companies is whether the damages should be based on the total value of the device, or whether Samsung should pay a fee based just on the elements of the phone that it copied.

Despite the high-profile court battle, Samsung keeps maintaining complex business relations with Apple.

Koh was upset because she said she felt the lawyer was asking a witness to judge the fairness of the law itself in front of a jury, hence she brought up the concept of jury nullification. The first request followed an objection from Apple to Quinn's reference to slides showing pre-2010 phones. It won the case and was awarded $1.05 billion in 2012. In its opinion, lower courts should not always consider that the end product is the "relevant article of manufacture" in patent infringement cases. The glass is easily separated from the phone and doesn't cost much, Samsung has argued. As such, Apple is only entitled to payments that are made up of the worth of those individual components.

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