Apple vs. Samsung – Battle of the Tech Titans

| 29 August 2012

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They are calling it the trial of the century as these two technology giants fight it out over patents and ultimately gadget supremacy.

For over a year Apple and Samsung have been slugging it out publically over patents. Several closed door meetings have been held to try and resolve this complex dispute. Not even Steve Jobs (while he was alive) could end the nasty litigation that has ensued.

All the drama has now made its way to a federal court in California where the case is being presided by Judge Lucy Koh and a jury who will decide who copied who.

It almost resembles the two big kids at school who always disliked each other and always fought over the prettiest girl in the grade.

Apple is claiming that Samsung blatantly stole elements of their designs and user interface of the iPhone and the iPad.

The accused are the Samsung’s Galaxy S, Galaxy S II and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Apple’s cases against the Samsung Galaxy S III and the Nexus are only expected to be heard during 2013.

Deep down the case is incredibly complex and the army of lawyers are dissecting every piece of technology and evidence and throwing the complicated patent law into the mix.

Apple’s legal team will try and convince the jury that Samsung stole their ideas and used them to make their phones. It is as simple as that.

Samsung on the other hand claim that they have not stolen any ideas and in fact it is Apple who has infringed on some of their communication technologies.

The trial up to now has been fascinating. Apple have called up designers and key witnesses who have shown court exhibits of iPhone designs years before the first iPhone was even released. They are trying to convince the jury that their technology was thought of long before Samsung even started designing smartphones.

Samsung’s legal team, in their cross examination, have forced Apple to reveal intimate details on how Apple designed the iPhone how Apple markets their products.

Apple is claiming $2.5 billion in damages, Samsung says that Apple owe them over $420 million for patent infringements on their technologies.

Judge Lucy Koh has desperately pleased with both Apple and Samsung to sort this out amicably but clearly that hasn’t worked. One of the lines of the case so far came from Judge Koh who asked Apple’s legal if they were “smoking crack”, if they thought they would get through their 75 page witness list.

The legal people are rubbing their hands throughout this trial. It is estimated that Samsung and Apple’s legal fees will each top the $200 million this year.

There is so much at stake here. The two are fighting for their market share, massive market share that is worth billions of dollars. Apple and Samsung are the leaders in the fast growing smartphone market.

According to the research firm IDC Apple and Google control over 85% of the smartphone market based on the latest sales. Over 105 million Android phones where shipped in the between April and June this year giving Google’s operating system a 68% market share in the smartphone market.

“I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong,” Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson in his book which went on sale shortly after Jobs’ death last year. “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

That should give you a good indication of whom Apple is planning to sue next.

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