In one of the largest patent laws of its kind, Apple Inc has sued Samsung for $2.525 billion over their alleged infringement of the iphone and ipad with Samsung’s Android technology smart phones. As Apple claims, Samsung owes “substantial monetary damages” for when they illegally “chose to compete by copying Apple.” Samsung claims that it in fact originated some of the technology in question, and has countersued Apple.
If Apple wins, not only will Samsung have to take its phones off the market until they can design them around the patent laws, but Android itself, which is used by many phone companies, will be stifled. Apple seeks to instate a permanent injunction to stop future violations.
Why $2.525 billion dollars? Samsung has overtaken Apple as the larger maker of Smartphones. Apple claims Samsung has cost apple $500 million, while making billions themselves.
The technology is question regards the look and feel of the iphone and ipad tablet computers, the “rubber banding” design for how images snap back into place after the user has scrolled with his finger, and how the iphone communicates with its operating system.
Not only does Apple have to make its case, but it has to convince a jury. The use of a jury in such a trial is rare and leads to unpredictable outcomes. The jury, after all, will be peopled by those ignorant of computer technology and the nuances of patent law. Apple and Samsung will not only have to make their cases, but make them in simple terms.
The judge presiding over the case, which takes place in San Jose, California, will be 43-year-old Lucy H. Koh, who not only has worked as a patent lawyer for nine years in a private practice, but has even worked on a patent case against Apple.
The outcome of the case is expected to affect how those markets grow in the future, and determine how technology patents — which have lately increased the overall number of patents and the amount of patent litigation significantly — will play out in the future.
Samsung will likely cite the product demands that make the Smartphones look alike. “It’s the microwave-oven argument,” said Mr. Carrier of Rutgers. “A microwave oven, like a Smartphone or a tablet computer, but its nature tends to have a certain form.” Resemblance “doesn’t always mean you’ve got patent infringement.”
Apple will be represented by Michael Jacobs of Morrison & Foerster; Samsung will be represented by Charles Verhoeven of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges.