Apple, Samsung rest in epic patent battle


SAN JOSE — After a full week of witness testimony, Apple and Samsung rested their cases Friday in their patent infringement trial against each other.

Apple used its precious hours of remaining trial time to attack Samsung on all fronts. Apple brought in witnesses to counter Samsung’s arguments that Apple’s patents were invalid, explain why Samsung’s patents were invalid, and outline why Samsung’s suit against Apple is a violation of antitrust law.

Samsung — with less than an hour of trial time remaining — chose to swiftly review Apple witness testimony and bring Samsung witnesses back to counter Apple’s antitrust and patent invalidity claims.

Apple is suing based on a design patent that describes the front face of the Apple iPad tablet. Samsung argues that the Fidler tablet — a 1994 mockup of a touch screen handheld device to be used for reading newspapers — prevents Apple from enforcing their patent against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

Judge Lucy Koh began the court session this morning by denying Apple’s motion to prevent the jury from actually seeing the Fidler mockup in their deliberations.

The mood was lighter than Thursday because everyone knew this was the final day of testimony. Koh brought up yesterday’s rant in which she suggested Apple lawyers were “smoking crack” if they thought they could get through twenty witnesses in their remaining time.

Apple attorney Bill Lee told Koh that his 86-year-old mother heard that he had denied Koh’s allegation, to laughter in the courtroom:

“First she wanted to know what crack was.”

Fellow Apple counsel Harold McElhinny added that his daughter, a Washington, D.C. public defender, told him:

“As a general rule, when a judge asks if you’re smoking crack, the answer is ‘No, ma’am.’”

Apple experts who testified previously returned to counter testimony from Samsung designers and experts. Legendary icon designer Susan Kare disagreed with Samsung senior designer Jeeyuen Wang about how icons on a touch screen interface should be squares with rounded corners:

“That’s an option, not a requirement.”

Kare went even further in rejecting the need for colorful icons:

“Sometimes black and white is strong and terrific.”

University of Toronto professors Karan Singh and Ravin Balakrishnana appeared again to defend Apple against the claims that the LaunchTile system for the iPAQ and the applications running on the Diamond Touch Table invalidated the Apple software patents.

In contrast with his frustrated tone during Samsung’s cross examination last week, Singh enthusiastically explained that none of the  references Samsung displayed could demonstrate all of the features of Apple’s patents on scrolling and gesturing technology for a touch-sensitive display.

The day neared its end when Apple and Samsung respectively had 16 and 20 minutes of trial time. McElhinny and Lee joked that they had six more witnesses to question, but Apple decided to rest its case instead.

Samsung recalled as many witnesses as it could to rebut Apple’s patent invalidity and antitrust claims. As Koh told Samsung attorney Kevin Johnson that Samsung’s time was up, Johnson answered as he rested Samsung’s case:

“We crossed the finish line.”

Over the weekend, Apple and Samsung will jointly draft jury instructions and the jury verdict form. Judge Koh told both sides that any objections they raise now should just incorporate the 700 pages of objections already filed.

Closing arguments are set for next Tuesday, and jury deliberations should begin shortly afterward.

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