The large patent infringement trial between Apple and Samsung that we has been going back and forth for weeks finally kicks off today in a California court as noted by The New York Times. With the infringement claims pending against both companies, there is a lot at stake. The trial can be mainly summarized by by the first few lines in each of the companies pre-trial brief (as pointed out by Philip Elmer-DeWitt of Fortune’s Apple 2.0):
Samsung is on trial because it made a deliberate decision to copy Apple's iPhone and iPad.
In this lawsuit, Apple seeks to stifle legitimate competition and limit consumer choice to maintain its historically exorbitant profits.
Apple has been largely sticking to the same story in every brief and official statement since the beginning of the lawsuit, which is the following: Apple has invested a great amount of resources into developing their iOS devices (in this specific case, the iPad and the iPhone), allowing them to become benchmarks for their competitors and consumers. The company feels that Samsung deliberately chose to copy Apple’s products and designs instead of competing fairly. Here, Apple’s arguments will consist of showing and proving different cases and scenarios with the overall pattern of pointing out how Samsung has copied them.
Samsung needs to prove to the court that the company is just as inventive if not more inventive than Apple and that the Cupertino California company is anticompetitive for using patents to block Samsung’s products rather than competing in the market fairly. The South Korean electronics maker is referring to the issue at hand as “Apple’s black rectangle problem.” Here, the South Korean electronics maker is likely to argue that the patents are invalid for being too broad. The company has spent billions on research and development and has been in the mobile space far longer than Apple, so they need to prove to the court that Apple is a new player in the mobile market that is using decade's worth of Samsung’s research without paying for it. The company will likely try to prove that Apple isn’t inventing from scratch to argue its point.
Overall, this will be quite a case and hopefully, the two tech giants will be smart enough to come to an agreement and settle the case rather than letting the jury decide.
Source: Fortune’s Apple 2.0, The New York Times, The Verge