Apple accuses Samsung of ripping off work of 'true geniuses' in lawsuit

Lawyer for iPhone-maker says South Korean company took the work of 'true geniuses' as the hi-tech firms trade charges in US$2.2b lawsuit

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 April, 2014, 11:12pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 May, 2014, 4:11am

A lawyer presenting closing arguments in a key patent case recalled the innovations of Apple founder Steve Jobs as he accused Samsung of unfairly and brazenly ripping off iPhone and iPad features invented by Jobs and other Apple executives.

"These products were created by true geniuses," lawyer Harold McElhinny told jurors in the patent infringement case in federal court in San Jose on Tuesday.

An attorney for Samsung later stood behind Google technology when he argued that the South Korean company did not copy the iPhone in creating its own devices. Instead, Samsung engineers used the Google-developed software Android to create its increasingly popular smartphones and tablets, attorney Williams Price said in his closing argument. Samsung made the best hardware for Google's software, which upset Apple executives who feared the competition, he said.

Jobs and Apple had declared a "holy war" on Google, Price said, marking the reason Apple filed the lawsuit against Samsung.

"We don't think we owe Apple a nickel," added John Quinn, another of the four Samsung lawyers involved in the company's closing argument.

The case marks the latest legal fight between Samsung and Apple as each tries to dominate the US$330 billion annual market for smartphones.

A different jury in San Jose presiding over a previous trial regarding older technology ordered Samsung to pay Apple US$930 million. Samsung has appealed against that ruling.

Samsung has captured about 31 per cent of the smartphone market while Apple retains a 15 per cent share.

Jobs, who died in 2011, is considered a Silicon Valley legend and is revered for launching Apple in his family's garage in 1976. The Cupertino headquarters of the tech giant is a 25-kilometre drive from the San Jose federal courthouse where the current patent case is playing out.

Each company has accused the other of stealing key features to develop some of the latest smartphones on the market, but Samsung's newest device, the Galaxy S5 released earlier this month, is not at issue.

Apple is demanding US$2.2 billion after arguing that nine of Samsung's smartphones and one of its Galaxy tablets infringe five patents.

Samsung seeks a fraction of that figure - some US$6 million - saying Apple infringed two of its patents in creating the iPhone. Samsung also argues that if it is found to have infringed Apple's patent, it would owe only US$38.4 million.

Testimony wrapped up on Monday in the case. After the closing arguments, the case will be submitted to the jury of four men and four women to determine a verdict. Jurors have been read 53 pages of instructions on how to decide if an infringement occurred and how to calculate the damages if fault is found.

Apple contends that many of the key functions and vital features of Samsung phones important to consumers were invented by Apple. Samsung argues that its phones operate on the Google Android software system and that any legal complaint Apple has is with the search giant.

Quinn said Apple wanted to monopolise the industry.

"They want to attack Google and Android by attacking the most successful Android maker," Quinn said.

Google is not a party to the litigation. Google spokesman Matt Kallman declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Associated Press


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