As mentioned earlier in SiliconANGLE’s mobile news roundup, the Apple-Samsung thermonuclear US trial is set to begin today. For those of you wondering why Apple is suing Samsung and why Samsung has filed countersuits, here’s a little something from us to you, our readers, to keep you updated on what’s happening between the two partners-turned-rivals.
Once upon a time…
Apple and Samsung used to have a good business partnership: Samsung supplies Apple with the things they need for their iDevices and they got along fine. Things turned sour when Samsung released their Galaxy devices, which look particularly similar to iDevices.
Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung in the U.S. District Court in Northern California for allegedly infringing their patents and trademark.
“It’s no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” an Apple representative said in previous interview. “This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple’s intellectual property when companies steal our ideas.”
Google also had a good relationship with Apple at one point, and Eric Schmidt once sat at Apple’s board of directors but had to eventually resign because of conflicting interests. Apple is also accusing Google of copying their mobile operating system when they created the Android platform. Samsung is using Android on most of their devices and that just aggravated the situation. The late Steve Jobs even vowed to use all of his energy resources to crush Android, even stating that he’s willing to go “thermonuclear in order to stop Google’s mobile OS.
Of course the South Korean company stated that they were going to fight Apple until the end, filing a countersuit in June 2011. Samsung stated that it was Apple who infringed their technologies.
“Apple has copied many of Samsung’s innovations in its Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad products,” lawyers for Samsung said in a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Delaware.
The two companies are fighting in different courts worldwide, and Samsung even tried to use the 1968 Stanley Kubrik film “2001: A Space Odyssey”, where a minute-long clip shows two astronauts eating while using a personal tablet computer. Unfortunately, their evidence was dismissed with the judge stating that the device featured in the film did not resemble the iPad, so their argument that the iPad’s concept was not unique was dismissed. Although the UK court ruled in favor of Samsung when the judge stated that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 cannot be mistaken for an iPad, it must’ve stung when the judge stated that their device wasn’t as cool as Apple’s. Nevertheless, Apple was ordered to advertise that Samsung did not copy their device on their UK website for six months, along with ads on magazines and newspapers.
Even with the UK ruling, Apple is not really on the losing end. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 has been banned from being sold in the US along with the Galaxy Nexus, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is banned in Germany though they were hoping for a EU-wide ban, and the Galaxy Tab 7.7 banned in members of European Union.
Why do we care? The long-term implications:
If you think the Apple-Samsung battle has nothing to with as a consumer, think again. If Apple wins, and you’re a Samsung fan, you may never see Galaxy devices on US soils again or the price of their devices would cost more than Apple products. If Samsung wins, then this may affect other cases filed by Apple against other OEMs, especially those using the Android platform. So yes, this concerns consumers, and you will be affected whatever the outcome is.
The trial starts today, where both Apple and Samsung are expected to give their opening remarks. The two companies were ordered to settle the patent dispute before, but both were quite unwilling to settle the issue, ultimately aiming for a trial. The trial is expected to last until the middle of August. The two companies need to prove their allegations and convince the 10-person jury of their respective cases. The trial is preceded by US District Judge Lucy Koh, who has the power to determine which evidences or arguments are admissible. Still, whatever the outcome of this trial is, that won’t be the last you’ll hear about this case. As soon as the trial is over, one of them will likely be filing for an appeal.
To stay updated on the latest happening on the Apple-Samsung trial, checkout the following hashtags: #patent, #Apple, and #Samsung or follow @SiliconANGLE on Twitter. We’ll keep you posted on what’s happening with the trial.