Apple and Samsung, who were once on good terms, as the Korean Samsung provides wireless components to the American computer company, are now at each other’s throats in one of the all-time biggest copyright battles. Apple, which has made over $19 billion in sales of its smartphones, has sued Samsung, its biggest competition, which has made $644 million in sales. Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in recompense, but even more than that it is seeking to eliminate its competition so that it will be the only maker of such technology in the market. At least that is what it seems like to many commentators who regard Samsung as the underdog in this venture. The intensity of it all played out in the court; the trial is two weeks deep and likely to last till the end of August.
Apple may finish with its witnesses today, turning the floor over to Samsung. Each side has been given 25 hours by Judge Lucy Koh to present their witnesses, and she has used threats of time deductions to keep the squabbling lawyers in check.
There has been reason to keep them in check. Samsung attorney John Quinn accidentally referred to Koh’s pre-trail order to block sales of Samsung products, but this was not to be mentioned to the jury.
“That was improper,” said Koh.
“I apologize, your honor,” said Quinn.
“I have difficulty believing that was not intentional,” she responded.
The judge herself is an interesting pick, since she has previously worked as a lawyer on Apple copyright litigation, not to mention having dual Korean and American ancestry.
As The Recorder described a scuffle between Quinn and Koh, she can be stern in managing the court chaos surrounding this case:
“”Samsung’s team got off to a rougher start with U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh. Quinn Emanuel’s John Quinn made an appearance but only succeeded in irking Koh before the jury entered the courtroom.
He asked to admit as evidence images of Samsung mobile phones before the iPhone had been introduced — a request already rejected.
Quinn said he had never before begged the court, but he was begging now.
“Don’t make me sanction you,” Koh snapped. When Quinn persisted, she angrily asked him to sit down. He did.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
Samsung issued a press release in the afternoon saying that “the excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design.”
[Apple lawyer Harold] McElhinny told Koh about the release after the jury has been dismissed, saying it was a clear attempt to influence jurors. Koh said she wanted to know who wrote the release and who on Quinn Emanuel’s team had authorized it. She also said she wanted an affidavit from Quinn himself about his involvement in the release.””
Apple and Samsung lawyers have been at each other’s throats with accusations of of dirty tactics and doctored evidence. Quinn, for instance, was criticized for a press release on barred documents, which he claims was innocent.
Samsung, meanwhile, is keen on convincing at least one juror that though it may have copied from Apple, it did not violate its copyrights. Seven of the nine jurors have college degrees, one has an iPhone, and a few have Samsung phones. Tech savvy jurors were excluded, as was an Apple employee, a Google employee, and a man with over 120 patents.