Apple-Samsung case in hands of jury

SAN JOSE — The fate of the Apple-Samsung patent battle now rests with the jurors, who today began deliberations in the $2.75 billion battle over intellectual property and smartphone supremacy.

The seven men and two women of the jury are deciding multiple patent infringement claims for and against Apple and Samsung products, as well as trade dress dilution and antitrust claims against Samsung.

As both sides awaited their closing arguments Tuesday, Judge Lucy Koh brought in the jury to her court to conclude oral arguments in the Apple v. Samsung trial:

“I need everyone to stay conscious during the reading of the jury instructions, including myself.”

Koh read aloud the 109-page jury instructions, several times asking the jury to stand up and sit down again to make sure everyone was paying attention.

In Apple’s closing arguments, Apple counsel Harold McElhinny described the Samsung design team’s effort to build the Galaxy S i9000 as “three intense months of copying,” as opposed to the four years Apple spent developing the iPhone:

“[Samsung’s] executives were bound and determined to cash in on the iPhone’s success.”

McElhinny showed all of the expert testimony about the substantial similarity between patented designs and Samsung products. Apple pointed out that Samsung had not brought in their own experts to counter Apple’s patent validity and patent infringement claims.

Apple argued the jury should reach a verdict against Samsung for $2.75 billion to preserve the patent system and to stop Samsung from getting away with earning massive profits from copying the efforts Apple worked hard to establish a significant market brand.

After Apple argued that Samsung did not meet their burdens of proof, Samsung responded that the deficiencies were with Apple’s testimony.

Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven spun the case as not being about the intellectual property but about legal action to block the second biggest smartphone and tablet manufacturer in the market from competing with Apple.

Verhoeven told the jury that the crowd of reporters was in the court today:

“… because [the jury’s] decision could change the way competition works in this case.”

Samsung appealed to the jury’s status as ordinary observers to find that Apple designs are either generic enough not to be protected or too different in design to actually cause any market confusion or any intellectual property infringement.

Repeatedly Verhoeven went over Apple’s expert testimony to show that they were missing key details like multiple buttons on the front of Samsung devices and differences in icon design. Even on the software side, Apple showed videos of Samsung phones supposedly infringing scrolling and gesture patents, but the videos are not evidence in the case.

Apple and Samsung ended their arguments with a minute to spare on both sides. While Apple wants to teach Samsung a lesson about copying to exploit Apple’s hard efforts protected by patent and trademark, Samsung urged the jury just to let the market and not the court decides who wants which phones.

Jury deliberations are underway and expected to last the next few days.