Epic Patent Trial over iPhone Technology Wraps Up
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - After three weeks of listening to technology experts, patent professionals and company executives debate the complicated legal claims of Apple Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., a jury of nine men and women are set to decide one of the biggest technology disputes in history.
Apple is demanding Samsung pay it $2.5 billion and pull its most popular smartphones and computer tablets from the U.S. market after accusing the South Korean company of "ripping off" its iPhone and iPad technology. Samsung, in turn, is demanding Apple pay it $399 million for allegedly using Samsung’s technology without proper payments in making the iconic iPhone and iPad.
Apple’s damage demands, if awarded, would represent the largest patent verdict in the U.S. An appeals court last year overturned the largest award to date, a $1.8 billion judgment against pharmaceutical company Abbott Laboratories.
Apple and Samsung are the top-selling smartphone makers and combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales.
Barring a last-minute settlement, jurors are scheduled to hear the dueling companies’ lawyers deliver closing arguments Tuesday in the San Jose federal courtroom of Judge Lucy Koh and they could begin deliberating late that afternoon, or more likely, Wednesday morning.
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 the jurors were picked from the heart of Silicon Valley where the company’s late founder Steve Jobs is a revered technological pioneer.
And while the legal and technological issues may be complex, patent expert Alexander I. Poltorak says the case will likely boil down to whether jurors believe Samsung’s products at issue look and feel almost identical to Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
"Most jurors will probably say they look alike," said Poltorak, who is chief executive of General Patent Corp. The judge appears to agree.