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Apple and Samsung take to the mat in massive legal battle

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 31st, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Computer giants Apple and Samsung are squaring off for a massive legal battle that has billions of dollars at stake. Jury selection in the trial is expected shortly. Both Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have jostled over accusations of patent violations for a full year prior to the court date. 

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The world's largest consumer electronics corporations have begun a long drawn-out legal battle in order to win supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices.

It all began after Apple sued Samsung in a San Jose, California, federal court last year. Apple accused the South Korean company of slavishly copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued.

If the court favors Apple, Samsung faces potential U.S. sales bans of its Galaxy smart phones and tablet computers.

"In some sense the big part of the case is not Apple's demands for damages but whether Samsung gets to sell its products," Mark A. Lemley, a Stanford Law School professor and director of the Stanford Program in Law, Science, and Technology says.

Lemley says that a verdict in Apple's favor could send a message to consumers that Android-based products such as Samsung's are in legal jeopardy. If the court rules in Samsung's favor, the decision could lead to higher-priced Apple products.

Apple will attempt to use Samsung documents to show its rival knowingly violated the iPhone maker's intellectual property rights. Samsung in the meantime argues Apple is trying to stifle competition to maintain "exorbitant" profit, according to court filings.

A 10-member jury will hear evidence over at least four weeks. The jury must reach a unanimous decision for Apple or Samsung to prevail on any of their claims.

All the jurors will hail from Silicon Valley, where Apple is an icon and major employer. Samsung will need to consider this issue during the jury selection, James Dobson, a jury consultant with Empirical Creative says.

"Although certainly if I were Samsung I would be concerned about what prospective jurors think about Apple, given that it's a huge employer there," Dobson said, "by and large jurors want to do right thing and decide the case on the merits."

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh halted U.S. sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1, giving Apple a significant early win. This was followed by a pretrial ban on the Galaxy Nexus phone, to which Samsung has appealed.

"That's a pretty strong statement from the judge and shows you what she thinks about some of Apple's claims," Bryan Love, a Santa Clara University law professor and patent expert says. Love said that even though the case will be decided by 10 jurors, the judge has the authority to overrule their decision if she thinks they got it wrong.

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