Apple Inc. (AAPL), accusing Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) of misleading jurors at the start of a $2 billion trial over smartphone technology, lost its bid to show jurors how it uses three of five patents disputed in the case.
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh in San Jose, California, yesterday rejected the Cupertino, California-based company’s claim that it deserved the opportunity after Samsung said Apple wasn’t using the intellectual property.
The fight at the outset of the second U.S. trial between the world’s top smartphone makers exemplifies how bitterly contested the case is, and how aggressively the companies want to check any advantage their opponent might gain. The jury in the first trial in 2012 awarded $1.05 billion in damages to Apple.
The smartphone market was valued at $338.2 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Samsung had 31 percent of industry revenue, compared with 15 percent for Apple, whose share of the market has shrunk as the touch-screen interface has become commonplace and Samsung, LG Electronics (066570) Inc. and Lenovo Group (992) Ltd. have introduced lower-cost alternatives.
Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail after regular business hours seeking comment on the ruling.
Addressing the jury in opening arguments on April 1, John Quinn, a lawyer for Samsung, called Apple’s case a thinly veiled attack on Google Inc., whose Android operating system is used in Samsung phones, and accused the iPhone maker of exaggerating how much harm it has suffered from alleged copying of patented functions.
“Apple admits that three of the five patent claims that it is suing on were not in that iPhone and have never been in any iPhone since,” Quinn told jurors, according to a court filing. “Apple doesn’t consider it valuable enough to even use.”
Apple yesterday asked Koh to let it show jurors how it uses the three patents and asked her to correct Quinn’s “false statements” and explain the misrepresentations to jurors.
Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, said in a filing that Apple was required to voice any objection to its argument at the April 1 opening arguments.
“This concludes the matter, and the court can rule against Apple’s motion for this reason alone,” Samsung said.
Samsung also said that in pretrial arguments Apple gave up its right to pursue claims that it uses the patents at issue.
Apple presented mostly the same arguments and evidence on April 1 that the company used in 2012 to persuade the jury to find that Samsung infringed six out of seven patents at issue. Damages were later knocked down to $930 million after a retrial.
This time, Apple claims that 10 Samsung products, including the Galaxy S3, infringe five different patents. Samsung alleges that nine Apple products, including the iPhone 5 and versions of the iPad and iPod, infringe two patents. Samsung seeks about $7 million in damages, according to a court filing.
Harold McElhinny, a lawyer for Apple, told jurors in his April 1 opening statement that Samsung, not Google, made the decision to use the infringing features to sell more than 37 million smartphones and tablets that violate Apple’s patents.
The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 12-cv-00630, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).
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