Apple, Samsung launch salvos as smartphone trial heats up

Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:22pm EDT
 
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By Dan Levine and Poornima Gupta

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd told jurors that its products are not copycats of Apple Inc's iPhone but rather an example of legitimate American-style competition from the South Korean company.

Lawyers for both tech giants faced off on Tuesday for opening statements in the highly anticipated U.S. patent trial, where Apple has accused Samsung of stealing iPhone features like scrolling and multi-touch.

The stakes are high: Apple is being tested on its worldwide patent strategy against Google's Android operating system, while Samsung faces the threat of sales bans on its Galaxy line of phones and tablets.

Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Samsung's own internal product analyses show it deliberately chose to rip off the iPhone, but Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven said all companies produce such documents.

"It's called competition," Verhoeven said. "That's what we do in America."

The world's largest consumer electronics corporations have been waging legal war around the world, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices. They sell over half of the world's smartphones.

The legal fight began last year when Apple sued Samsung in a San Jose, California, federal court, accusing the South Korean company of slavishly copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued.

The federal courtroom in San Jose, California was jammed on Tuesday with lawyers and reporters, with more spilling into an overflow room next door equipped with a video feed. Both companies relied on slides featuring various phone models, internal emails and news reports to make their points.   Continued...

 
An employee of South Korean mobile carrier KT holds an Apple Inc's iPhone 4 (L) smartphone and a Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S II smartphone as he poses for photographs at a registration desk at KT's headquarters in Seoul, August 25, 2011. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak