Apple, Samsung patent trial to start in the U.S. today

July 30, 2012
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    The Apple vs Samsung patent-based conflict has reached the trial phase in the USA. Starting today, the two giant companies will face each other off in a San Jose federal court in California, with the trial expected to last at least four weeks.

    The companies will start the tedious process of jury selection today, and the 10 jurors that will hear the two parties make their cases over the following month will have to reach an unanimous decision for either company to win any of the patent claims in place.

    Reuters reports that one of Samsung’s problems with this jury selection is the fact that all jurors are coming from Silicon Valley, a place where Apple is at home:

    That the jurors will hail from Silicon Valley, where Apple is an icon and major employer, will be something for Samsung to consider during the jury selection, said James Dobson, a jury consultant with Empirical Creative.

    “Although certainly if I were Samsung I would be concerned about what prospective jurors think about Apple, given that it’s a huge employer there,” Dobson said, “by and large jurors want to do the right thing and decide the case on the merits.”

    We have thoroughly covered this patent-based conflict that’s being fought in 10 countries in over 50 cases, with the American lawsuit being of utmost important for both companies.

    Apple has been mostly winning in the region lately. The same judge that’s presiding over the U.S. case has awarded Apple two injunctions against Samsung products including the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Galaxy Nexus – both rulings have been appealed, with Samsung managing to stay the second decision.

    More recently, a different judge issued an order instructing the jury in the Apple vs Samsung case to assume that the South Korean Android device maker has purposely destroyed evidence that could have been used by Apple in this case.

    Information from the two companies’ briefs have started to hit tech blogs, and we found out that Apple intends to prove, among other things, that Google and other third parties warned that certain Samsung products looked too much like Apple iOS devices, and that some Best Buy customers returned Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices once they realized they were not iPads – which is what they thought they were buying.

    We already know that Apple is asking for $2.525 billion in damages and royalties from Samsung, although it would prefer injunctions against the alleged infringing products. At the same time, Apple is willing to pay half a cent for each of its iOS products that will be found to infringe on Samsung patents.

    Samsung, on the other hand, will try to prove that it had its own touchscreen-based designs that its engineers were working on well ahead of the 2007 iPhone launch.

    The U.S. case is set to start a couple of weeks after a similar Australian lawsuit between the two parties reached the trial phase, but it’s more important than its Australian counterpart, as the U.S. is the largest smartphone and tablet market for both Apple and Samsung.

    We’ll be back with more tidbits from the Apple vs Samsung conflict in the following days.

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