Apple-Samsung are set for a showing in one of the most watched patent trials today in San Jose, California. The trial could decide the future of the smartphone and tablet industry as Apple has accused Samsung of slavishly copying the design of its prized iPad and iPhone.
Both sides have engaged in allegations and counter-allegations in courts across the world. A German court has already banned Samsung's Galaxy Tab 7.7 in Europe while a UK court ruled that the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 was not as a cool as the iPad and therefore not a copy. Apple was asked to publish an ad on its site stating the same.
Here's a look at what each side is accusing the other of:
Apple claims that Samsung has violated three of its patents: actionable linking, slide-to-unlock, and touchscreen word suggestion. If found guilty, Samsung would be forced to remove these features from its devices.
Apple also claims that Samsung ripped the 'feel' of the iPhone, meaning the rectangular shape with rounded corners. The Cupertino-based, giant wants more than $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung for these alleged violations.
Apple has more arsenal to back up its claims that Samsung ripped off its designs intentionally. According to tech website, AllThingsD it seems Apple is going to use Samsung’s own office documents to prove that Google had told them that the design was too close to the iPad.
The report states,
In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the P3.”
In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.
Essentially Apple claims to be the original inventor behind the idea, the design and the features of the iPhone. Samsung in Apple's eyes is just a rip-off and needs to be banned. US judge Lucy Koh has already granted Apple a pre-trial injunction banning the sales of Samsung Galaxy Tablets 10.1 in the US. The Galaxy Nexus smartphone has also been pulled of the shelves. There's a very strong indication that the trial could go Apple's way.
The South Korean tech giant is not going to give up without a fight.
Samsung has accused Apple of copying the design for the iPhone from Sony. MacWorld reports that according to internal Apple documents submitted to a California court on Wednesday, these reveal that Apple relied heavily on Samsung’s design. The documents were filed to the US District Court in San Jose by lawyers for Samsung as part of an ongoing lawsuit with Apple over patent infringement.
Samsung has also claimed that Apple violated patents on mobile communications systems, as well as features like taking a photo on a phone and seamlessly emailing it.
The Apple-Samsung trial might look like a fight between two big, bad corporate kings who are unwilling to compromise, but the truth is that if either side gets a win, the people who will suffer the most will be consumers. If Samsung's devices are banned, consumers can say goodbye to choice.