It's time for justice, says Apple in $2B case against Samsung

The four-week jury trial begins closing arguments as Apple demands $2 billion in damages

Samsung deliberately copied several key iPhone features in an attempt to catch up in the phone market, Apple charged as it wrapped up a jury trial against Samsung in San Jose on Tuesday.

"We are here because of a series of decisions made by Samsung Electronics," said Harold McElhinny, a lawyer for Apple, as he presented closing arguments in the closely watched case. "Samsung changed phone after phone that was under development to copy feature after feature after feature of the iPhone."

The closing arguments, which are scheduled to last into Tuesday afternoon, wrap up four weeks of testimony in which Apple sought to justify its demand that Samsung be forced to pay US$2.2 billion for infringement of five Apple patents by 10 Samsung smartphones and tablets.

Samsung told the jury that Apple didn't use three of the patents at issue in the iPhone and that Apple's talk of copying is intended to get the jury members angry so they award large damages.

"You can't copy something from the iPhone if it's not in the iPhone," said Bill Price, an attorney for Samsung.

During the testimony, the eight-person jury was given a brief history of the development of the iPhone and Android OS and heard about the excitement among executives when Steve Jobs first unveiled the iPhone. They also delved deep into marketing studies about what iPhone features consumers valued and were told more than they probably ever wanted to know about software subroutines and class libraries.

Now they have to make sense of it all and it's much more complex than simply answering the question: "Did Samsung infringe and how much should it pay?"

In front of them in the jury room is a 12-page verdict form that requires more than 200 decisions to be made. For each patent and each phone, the jury must decide if there was infringement. In many cases, they must also differentiate between Samsung's global headquarters in Korea and its U.S. marketing and telecoms subsidiaries.

And if there is infringement, they must decide on a specific dollar amount for damages by phone and by patent. To come up with those figures, they must calculate both lost profits and money that should have been paid in patent licensing charges.

"Now it's time for you to do justice," said McElhinny.

To help them in this task, the jury members have their memory, notes taken during the trial, all of the smartphones involved in the case and thousands of pages of documents entered into evidence. Around 100 large ring binders full of the documents will be wheeled into the jury room later on Tuesday.

Google has been a constant background force throughout the trial. Samsung has sought to deflect some of Apple's accusations by saying that the functions in question were developed solely by Google and has also put Google engineers on the stand to defend that position. And in one of the few true revelations of the trial, it emerged that Google had taken over some of Samsung's defense as part of the terms of an earlier software development agreement.

If anything, the argument is easier for Samsung to make this time around because of the focus on Android software functions. In contrast, a previous trial between the two companies here was focused on the look and feel of Samsung's phones -- something that was the result of Samsung's design department rather than Google.

It's also made easier by Apple's inclusion of the Galaxy Nexus, a Samsung handset that ran a version of Android and apps customized by Google and not Samsung.

"Every patent that Apple claims is infringed in this case is infringed in the basic Android software because they've accused the Galaxy Nexus," said Price, who asserted that Samsung has been so successful because of its hardware. "Apple is trying to distract you with claims of copying."

Apple tried several times to persuade the jury that Google's shadow presence in the case is just to cause confusion.

"Despite all the times Samsung mentioned it, you will not find a single question about Google in your verdict form," said McElhinny.

The trial provided further insight into the hatred that Steve Jobs harbored for Android, including a preparatory document for a 2011 internal managerial meeting that called for a "Holy War" against Google, but also the growing threat Android was posing to Apple's dominant position in smartphones. In internal emails and presentations, Apple staffers highlighted areas where Android was moving ahead of iOS and the growing preference of consumers for phones with larger screens.

"So here we are," said McElhinny as he wrapped up his closing arguments. "Thirty-seven million acts of infringement later and we are counting on you for justice."

The jury is due to get the case later on Tuesday and then begin daily deliberations.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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