Apple, Samsung trial: ‘We are done’
Many, including presiding U.S. District judge Lucy Koh, probably doubted the laborious patent trial between Apple and Samsung would ever reach its end.
Mercifully, the end is now near, as testimony concluded in a flurry Friday.
A total of 14 witnesses – 11 from Apple and three from Samsung – sat on the stand as both sides made their final cases before heading into closing arguments next week.
Apple is seeking between $2.5 billion (£1.59 billion) and $2.75 billion (£1.75 billion) in lost sales from Samsung while the South Korean company is looking for $421.8 million (£268.1 million) in unpaid royalties from its Cupertino-based rival.
Samsung somehow managed to squeeze the witnesses plus cross-examinations of Apple’s with its remaining 47 minutes of trial time. Koh stuck to her guns in not offering an extension to either company’s allotted 25 hours.
Key among Apple’s witnesses, several of whom returned to testify for a second time, was “Macintosh artist” Susan Kare.
Kare spent most of her time rebuking the testimony of Samsung designer Jeeyeun Wang, who said there’s only so many designs and arrangements for icons on a touchscreen device.
Kare begged to differ, saying Samsung had plenty of alternatives to ripping off Apple outright.
To drive the point home, Apple attorney’s, working with a little over two and a half hours of trial time, showed several smartphone interfaces, including that of the BlackBerry Storm, to demonstrate alternative designs.
Michael Walker, a member of the ETSI commission that worked to set European telecommunications standards and an officer of the Order of the British Empire, said Samsung violated several European protocols when it failed to disclose patents through the proper avenues on time.
Because it failed to meet disclosure deadlines, Samsung forfeited its rights to these particular patents, Walker said.
Walker’s testimony is key to Apple’s defense that it didn’t infringe on three Samsung patents.
Samsung, however, argued it didn’t need to make a disclosure since the information is “intellectual property” and therefore confidential. Apple responded that confidentiality was never something Samsung concerned itself with before the European commission.
Apple also asserted that Samsung was required to license this intellectual property in compliance with FRAND – by fair, reasonable and anti-discriminatory standards. Several Apple witnesses called Samsung’s control of the licensing “monopoly power.”
In a taped disposition presented by the Cupertino company, Seung-Ho Ahn, Samsung’s top licensing official, admitted he never took steps to familiarize himself with “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing” requirements.
Even more damning, the taped Ahn also said he never did anything to make sure his organization complied with FRAND standards.
Samsung spent its remaining time rebuking the allegations it lagged on patent disclosure, with witness David Teece testifying the company did what it needed to do in a timely manner.
Teece also said Samsung’s licensing offer to Apple was reasonable while the company also put forth a cross-license agreement with Apple.
Not quite over
All that’s really left to do is for both sides to finalize their jury instructions, which Koh as asked each to cut down to simplify the deliberation process as much as possible.
The companies’ lawyers and Koh will go over instructions on Monday with final arguments – for which each has two hours to complete – happening on Tuesday. If all goes according to Koh’s plan, the decision will be in the seven men, two women jury’s hands by Wednesday.
Koh, who will probably spend her weekend reading briefs, summed up the end up week three and the conclusion of this phase of the trial aptly.
“We are done.”