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Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 03:48 pm PT (06:48 pm ET)

Apple, Samsung present closing arguments in California patent trial


Samsung's closing arguments

Unlike Apple's closing argument, Samsung brought up case handling first, taking jabs at the the Cupertino, Calif., company's business practices. Charles Verhoeven, counsel for the Korean company, described Samsung as Apple's biggest competitor, and alluded that the iPhone maker wanted to compete in the courtroom rather than the marketplace.

“Apple’s here asking for what it is not entitled to,” Charles Verhoeven said. “It’s here asking you to prevent its largest competitor from giving consumers want they want. It’s attempting to block its most serious competitor from even playing the game.”

Verhoeven issued some lofty claims in his remarks, saying to the jury, “Your decision, if it goes Apple’s way, could change the way competition works in this country."

The Samsung lawyer pushed the repeated argument that Apple's designs were part of a natural design evolution, not any unique invention. He cites the change in design of HDTVs with flat front panels as an example of this naturally occurring change in design.

“Guess what, every single smartphone has a rectangular shape with rounded corners and a big screen,” Verhoeven said. “Just walk through Best Buy. So Apple is here seeking $2 billion in damages for what? That little ornamentation on the screen. It’s amazing, really. Apple thinks it’s entitled to have a monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a touchscreen.”

Verhoeven dug into Apple expert witness Peter Bressler's testimony, reminding jurors that small details in design may be of importance. To this end, Bressler's take on the flat front face of the iPhone was attacked as a number of Samsung smartphones were presented, including the Galaxy S 4G.

Galaxy S 4G

Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents


Next up was Verhoeven's take on Apple's consumer confusion argument, with the attorney saying normal consumers would have no problem distinguishing one from the other. Samsung denies copying or trying to create confusion in the marketplace, Verhoeven said, adding that "Apple has no evidence" to bolster such allegations.

Once again, the rectangle with rounded corners argument was brought up, a bone of contention seen multiple times before both in and out of court. Samsung contends that Apple cannot patent the rectangle shape, and argues against the iPhone's rounded corners by saying many devices have the feature because it is integral to usability.

Verhoeven then brought out a Droid Charge to illustrate how the device's startup sequence is unique when compared to the iPhone, discounting the iPhone maker's claim of consumer confusion. The Charge must first cycle through a Samsung logo, the Droid animation sequence, the proprietary Android skin and a user must press a button before reaching the application screen Apple asserts is being infringed.

As for testimony from Apple's expert witness Susan Kare, Verhoeven scoffed at the idea of being able to patent "a matrix of icons." He brought up the Galaxy Fascinate user interface, which Apple argues Samsung copied from their trademarked icon designs. Kare previously testified that she found "substantial similarities" in the two companies' UIs.

“There are only two icons that Apple’s expert witness said were similar, the phone and the clock," Verhoeven posited. "And I would submit that the vast majority of the icons are substantially different. Let’s not pretend you can patent a colorful row, a colorful matrix of icons.”

Messaging

Apple exhibit comparing Samsung messaging icons with the iOS Messages app.
Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents


Getting into the meat of the suit, Verhoeven calls Apple's assertion of copycatting "an intentional attempt to mislead the jury." To drive the point home, a slide was presented showing a chart of numerous Samsung phones, some of which Apple failed to include when making its case.

“They’re intentionally ignoring an entire category of phones,” Verhoeven said. “This is a shell game. They’re pretending these phones never existed.”

Instead of using Samsung's witnesses to make his closing arguments, the lawyer attacked testimony from Apple's witnesses.

“Counsel for Apple is trying to mislead you,” Verhoeven said, talking to the jury. “There is no bad intent. There is no copying. Samsung is a good corporate citizen. All it wants to do is make products that consumers want. All this copying evidence is hand-waving by Apple. Why? Because they don’t have anything else.”

Wrapping up, Samsung called Apple's damages number "ridiculous," and said “Apple didn’t invent touchscreen. Apple didn’t invent the rectangular smartphone with rounded corners. And the intellectual property it is asserting in this case is not worth the money Apple is asking for.”

To page 3 of 3: Rebuttals