SAN JOSE — Apple does not own everything, wailed Samsung attorney John Quinn during closing arguments in the Apple-Samsung patent infringement megatrial here Tuesday. On the other hand, attorney William Lee, the last to address the jury, played the victim card and closed with an appeal to the jury's community conscience to protect the genius of neighboring Apple employees who have been injured by Samsung’s relentless mission to devalue and cheapen the worth of its patents. Samsung invents nothing, claimed Lee; its business strategy is to infringe, and he urged the jury to punish the Korean company and its American subsidiaries severely.
Federal courthouse in San Jose, Calif., where the Apple-Samsung trial is being held.
(Source: EE Times/Magnus Thordarson)
Damage awards were the lawyers' primary focus yesterday in Judge Lucy Koh’s packed courtroom. Samsung will win if you award only a small fine, Apple's lead attorney Harold McElhinny told the jury. That is Samsung’s strategy, he added; it is all about lowering damages, and it is part of its business model. Apple already won $930 million in a previous infringement case concluded late last year.
Mr. McElhinny structured his speech after the instructions read to the jury on Monday by Judge Koh. In a measured and methodical manner he walked the jury through the decisions that face the four men and four women and skillfully showed them with illustrative examples how Apple made its infringement case and how Samsung was unable to present defense. As a result, McElhinny informed the jury, you must award damages. We are at least entitled to reasonable royalties, he added. Apple sued Samsung as a last resort, McElhinny said; we had to defend the patents, we asked Samsung to compete fairly but they refused and continued to infringe. This time around, Apple is seeking $2.2 billion, but McElhinny disclosed in his closing arguments that Apple had prepared material for the jury to help it arrive at a smaller award.
William Price who opened the defensive arguments for Samsung told the jury the company was in a position where it had to choose an operating platform for its hardware so consumers could have access to content. Samsung is the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones and smartphone parts. Per Price, it chose Google’s Android open-source operating system so software developers could develop applications freely for maximum consumer benefit. That is the business strategy.
Price also argued Samsung cannot be guilty of copying from the iPhone something that is not in the iPhone. Apple practices only two of the five patents they sued for and are being tried in this trial. McElhinny had previously reminded the jury it is not a defense that patents are not being used. All charges by Apple are against features in the Android, continued Price. “Google developed those independently and Samsung is not trying to hide the Google part... Apple is. Samsung made no attempts to change these features. There is no copying.” It is clear what the case is about, maintained Price -- Steve Jobs declared a holy war on Google and that is their focus.
John Quinn concluded for Samsung and aggressively attacked Apple’s $2 billion damage claim. The methodology applied is Apple's fantasy, said Quinn; there will be dancing in the streets of Cupertino if you give them $2 billion. “Apple wants to monopolize the market, they know they are not entitled to a nickel.” The people of Samsung, Quinn told the jury, believe they can get justice here in Apple’s back yard.
The jury starts deliberating in earnest on Wednesday morning.
— Magnus Thordarson is an IT consultant and freelance writer based in San Jose, Calif. With a background in industry and academia, he is a veteran of Kaiser Permanente IT and writes about all aspects of information technology and management of information systems.