Rush hour for Samsung in California patent trial

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Rush hour for Samsung in California patent trial

Samsung Electronics lost a bid in its patent suit against rival Apple to double the amount of time it gets to present its case at a trial scheduled to begin on Monday in California.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who is overseeing the trial, told Charles K. Verhoeven, a Samsung lawyer, yesterday that she had “bent over backwards” to structure the trial so jurors would hear both companies’ infringement claims and defenses.

She told Verhoeven that Samsung could have the 50 hours he wanted in a bifurcated trial, meaning Apple would present its infringement case first, forcing Samsung to defend that case and present its infringement claims against Apple at a later date.

He declined that offer.

“I wanted to give you parity at trial,” Koh said, adding that the case “has already had a number of hearings on the merits” in her court and at an appellate court.

“What is it that you don’t know now?”

Apple and Samsung, the world’s two biggest makers of high-end mobile phones, accuse each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices.

The companies are fighting patent battles on four continents to retain their dominance in the $219 billion global smartphone market.

Galaxy Tab

Apple previously won a court order from Koh temporarily blocking U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer before the trial, a ruling that was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

In a separate case, Koh issued a June 29 order blocking U.S. sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

“Parity is much more important to us, so we’ll go to trial under the limits,” Verhoeven said yesterday.

Apple seeks damages totaling $2.53 billion in the case, according to a court filing yesterday.

Apple “conservatively estimates” Samsung’s infringement has cost the company $500 million in lost profits and more than $25 million in royalty damages, according to a court filing.

The remainder of the total is comprised of Apple’s unjust enrichment claims, a figure that’s blocked out in the court filing. Apple said that after trial it will seek a permanent ban on sales of Samsung products found by the jury to infringe on its inventions.

‘Consumer Choice’

Samsung said in a filing yesterday that the suit amounts to an attempt by Apple to “stifle legitimate competition and limit consumer choice to maintain its historically exorbitant profits.”

Android-based smartphones manufactured by Samsung and other companies offer consumers “a more flexible, open operating system with greater product choices at a variety of price points as an alternative to Apple‘s single, expensive and closed-system devices,’’ Samsung said. Samsung’s countersuit accuses Apple of infringing its patents.

‘‘Even as Apple has carried out a coordinated campaign of dragging Samsung‘s name through the mud in this lawsuit and in the media, it has used Samsung’s patented technology while flatly refusing to pay for its use,’’ according to Samsung’s court filing.

The two companies are embroiled in a design and technology global patent war, spanning 10 countries in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Samsung won a design patent bid against Apple over its Galaxy Tab tablet in Germany earlier this week.


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