Apple Asks Jury to Use Common Sense in Samsung Retrial
Bill Lee gave his closing argument today in federal court in San Jose, California, where Apple won a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung last year. His client is attempting to recoup most of the $410.5 million, or 39 percent, of the award that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh cut in March.
Jurors should apply their “collective judgment” to the companies’ actions to “focus on what they actually did in the real world” and not “what they could’ve done,” Lee said.
While Samsung is “telling you these patents are narrow and insignificant,” historical documents tell the truth, said Lee, who was on Apple’s legal team last year. “Documents don’t lie.”
Bill Price of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, an attorney for Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung, has argued that jurors should award Cupertino, California-based Apple $52 million, which he called “not a trivial sum.”
“Apple has tried to mischaracterize these patents so they are the iPhone,” Price told the jury today. “These patents are very narrow.”
He said Apple can’t claim infringement simply because a rival’s smartphone is attractive. A company can be allowed to compete “and create something that’s beautiful and sexy,” he argued.
An appeals court in Washington ruled yesterday that Apple can seek a ban on sales of some Samsung products found to infringe patents covering smartphone features, such as multitouch technology, that were at issue in the 2012 trial. The company can’t block Samsung products for infringing patented designs, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in an opinion posted yesterday.
Koh in March found that the original verdict was flawed because jurors miscalculated the period that the infringement occurred for 13 Samsung devices. Last week, Apple’s damages expert argued to the jury of six women and two men that $379.8 million of the award should be reinstated.
In a replay of tactics that won Apple its 2012 verdict, the year’s second-largest in the U.S., Lee again invoked an internal e-mail by J.K. Shin, the head of Samsung’s mobile division, saying that the company was experiencing a “crisis of design” due to competition from the iPhone and the difference between the companies’ phones is like “heaven and earth.”
The e-mail showed that Samsung lacked confidence in its user interface, which was at issue in its infringement of Apple’s utility patents, Lee said. Samsung engineers were “being told that Samsung was dozing off,” he said, and that “the time has come to change our methods.”
“Let’s make something like the iPhone,” Lee said, citing the e-mail.
A decision on damages will conclude the first U.S. case between the two companies over claims they are copying each other’s features in their global battle for dominance of the smartphone market.
A higher-stakes trial between the world’s two top smartphone makers is scheduled to go before Koh in March. That case covers technology in newer smartphones, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S III.
The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., 11-cv-01846, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).
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