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Apple, Samsung present closing arguments in California patent trial

Apple and Samsung on Tuesday presented closing arguments in their high-stakes patent trial, with each side jockeying for position ahead of jury deliberation expected to start on Wednesday.

Kicking off Tuesday's proceedings was a reading of the 109-page jury instructions by presiding Judge Lucy Koh, who said, “I need everyone to stay conscious during [this] — including myself.” In-court reports from All Things D described the long list of 84 instructions as "byzantine," saying the dry document covered details of patent and antitrust law, willful infringement and the dilution of trade dress. At times Judge Koh called for everyone to stand up and "get the blood flowing again."

Apple's closing arguments

Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny wanted to make three main arguments, reports The Verge, the first being "documents are the most valuable key in the truth-finding function." He went on to say that witnesses can be incorrect, "historical documents are almost always where the truth lies."

The second point, and one of the main arguments in Apple's case, was to take into consideration the chronology of events leading to litigation. McElhinny expounded on chronology for nearly 20 minutes, starting with iPhone development in 2003 and ending with Apple's allegations that Samsung copied the "look and feel" of the iPhone and iPad.

Presented for the jury were two familiar slides illustrating the evolution of Samsung product before and after the iPhone first launched in 2007. The information was also made available during the trials' testimony phase in a single exhibit demonstrating the product timeline of Samsung's handsets and tablets post iPhone and iPad.

Before iPhone

Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents

After iPhone

McElhinny pointed out the "crisis of design" document was in response to the lack of success Samsung suffered directly after the iPhone launched. In the comparison document, the Galaxy S was pitted side-by-side against the iPhone, with Samsung engineers taking note of the many features iOS implemented more efficiently than the Korean company's solutions.

The lawyer then called back to internal Samsung emails that showed Google, maker of the Android operating system, demanded the Korean company change the designs of their Galaxy S smartphones and certain tablet products because they looked too similar to Apple's iDevices.

Concluding the Apple counsel's second point of creating a chronology was McElhinny's assertion that Samsung's top executives "were bound and determined to cash in on the iPhone's success." He attributed the company's resurgence in the marketplace to the allegedly copied features, noting sales "took off after the first iPhone-derived product was added to the mix," referencing the Galaxy S. “They were copying the worlds most successful product,” McElhinny said.

As for the third argument, Apple's attorney brought the Korean tech monolith's case handling into question.

“No Samsung executives were willing to come here from Korea,” McElhinny said. “We called some of their top people. … Samsung had a chance to defend itself in this case; instead they sent you lawyers. Instead of witnesses, they brought you lawyers.”

Next, Apple rebuked Samsung's contention that the iPhone's patents are obvious, functional and based on prior art. McElhinny said there "has been a complete failure of proof" regarding the invalidation of Apple's design patents, alluding to Samsung's lack of evidence to support such legal claims.

“Samsung was the iPhone’s biggest fan,” McElhinny said. “They knew a good thing when they saw it. They tried to compete with it, and when they couldn’t, they copied it.”

Tablet Evolution

Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents

The same was said in regard to claims against Apple's utility patents such as the pinch-to-zoom and rubber-banding features seen in iOS.


LaunchTile technology pointed to as prior art against Apple's utility patents.
Source: University of Maryland Dept. of Computer Science

Also touched on was consumer confusion relating to certain Samsung products, with the lawyer presenting a Best Buy survey that studied the reasons why customers were returning the Galaxy Tab. During testimony, Apple was quick to point out that a number of customers returned the Samsung tablet after realizing it wasn't an iPad. It was later reported that many more customers returned the Galaxy Tab due to malfunctions than mistaken identity, though the metric is still not a positive for Samsung.

Wrapping up, McElhinny said there are two factors driving the damages claims: Samsung sold 22.7 million infringing handsets to date; and sales of said handsets generated $8.16 billion in revenue for the company.

“The damages in this case should be large, because the infringement has been massive,” McElhinny said, presenting four different damages proposals ranging from $519 million to $2.5 billion.

To page 2 of 3: Samsung's closing arguments