Apple’s epic battle with Samsung over patent infrigement goes to court in California today in what may prove a crucial turning point for the fortunes of both smartphone makers.The San Jose trial is unlikely to be resolved immediately and instead it will be left to a San Jose jury to wade through arguments and documents relating to Apple’s iPhone and iPad and Samsung’s counter Galaxy devices.
It’s a row that has already been fought in courtrooms around the world with ambivalent outcomes, though by moving to California – home of Silicon Valley – a poor verdict for Apple could deeply damage its reputation for innovation, all the more so as the four week trial nudges towards the release dates of new smartphones from both manufacturers.
Elsewhere judges have sought in vain to persuade the pair to settle out of court, resulting in one Australian wig declaring the case “ridiculous” and others compelling Apple and Samsung to limit the number of patent infringements they’re lobbing at each other.
Apple’s case against its South Korean rival hinges on alleged patent infringements in the iPhone and iPad’s manufacturing design, its “multi-touch” user interface and overall appearance, though whether a jury will accept that its design is sufficiently distinctive to warrant a patent – or is merely a matter of form – is a moot point.
Meanwhile, Samsung is likely to hit back by claiming Apple has been abusing its intellectual property as it did not licence its wireless data transmission patents, at the same time denying that Apple’s designs constitute “prior art”.