The patent trial of the century between Apple and Samsung finally kicked off Monday in San Jose as lawyers for the two companies began the process of selecting a jury.
If you haven’t been following it closely, here are a few things you should know about the case:
- Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung back in April, 2011, accusing the company of infringing on its patents.
- As of right now, Apple is accusing Samsung of infringing on four design patents (two for the iPhone, one for iPad and one for iOS), as well as three utility patents. Apple is demanding $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung.
- Samsung has since counter-sued, arguing that Apple has infringed on five of its patents, two of which are standard essential patents that have to do with 3G technology, which the company licenses out.
- Samsung is demanding Apple pay a royalty rate of 2.4% on the “entire selling price” of its iOS devices for use of these patents. Apple argues that it should only have to pay one half of one penny per each mobile device it sells.
- This isn’t the only patent dispute between the two companies right now. Apple and Samsung are also embroiled in trials abroad.
With that in mind, we’ve gone through the most recent court filings from the two companies to pull out the key details that you should know about.
Apple intends to introduce evidence that Google explicitly warned Samsung it was ripping off the iPad back in 2010.
According to the court documents filed by Apple, Samsung was repeatedly warned by third parties that its tablets were rip offs of the iPad. Google in particular told Samsung that the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1 were 'too similar' to the iPad, and Google asked Samsung for more 'distinguishable design.' This would show that Samsung knowingly infringed on Apple's design.
According to Apple, Best Buy told Samsung that its customers were returning Galaxy Tab tablets because they realised it wasn't an iPad
This is crucial to Apple's claim that an ordinary customer might confuse the two tablets, which is the test for infringing on a design patent.
Samsung, for its part, argues that it began designing smartphones with full panel displays before the iPhone ever came out.
From Samsung's court documents: 'In February 2006, before the claimed iPhone design was conceived of, Apple executive Tony Fadell circulated a news article to Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive and others. In the article, a Sony designer discussed Sony designs for portable electronic devices... Right after this article was circulated internally, Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to prepare a ―Sony-like design for an Apple phone and then had CAD drawings and a three-dimensional model prepared.'
An early iPhone design, shown here, even features the name Sony it.
Apple plans to call up Phil Schiller, its VP of of worldwide marketing, and Scott Forstall, the head of iOS, as well as Chris Stringer who worked on the iPhone in the early days, according to AllThingsD.
Several surprising new details about Apple have already come to light as a result of the court documents.
The gross margins on the iPhone ranged from 49%-58% between April, 2010 and March, 2012, the court documents show. By comparison, the iPad margins were 23%-32%.
Apple has also revealed some of the earliest designs for the iPad, which show how clunky it used to be.
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