Apple and Samsung make their closing arguments

By , Aug 21, 2012

It’s been a long few weeks, but the high-profile trial between Apple and Samsung is finally starting to wind down. Yesterday’s peace talks between CEOs failed to yield any results, so tomorrow, the case will get handed to the jury.

Attorneys used their last day in court today to make their closing arguments and rebuttals. And while both parties made some compelling comments, it seemed like Samsung’s side made the more memorable impression…

AllThingsD, who has provided great coverage for the stretch of the trial, was in court today to hear closing arguments. First up, Apple:

“Faced with a “crisis of design” inspired by the iPhone, said [Harold] McElhinny, Samsung “copied and emulated” Apple’s designs without taking any of the risks that Apple had taken. “They were copying the world’s most successful product,” McElhinny said. “How do we know that? We know it from Samsung’s own documents. We see how they did it.”

“Samsung’s leadership was bound and determined to cash in on the iPhone’s success,” McElhinny continued, running through a series of internal Samsung documents revealing the company’s discussions of the iPhone and how best to match it. The end result of those talks: The Galaxy S, which did far better at market than Samsung’s earlier post-iPhone smartphones. “Samsung got what it wanted,” McElhinny said. “Its smartphone sales, which had been stagnant, suddenly took off when its first iPhone knockoff was introduced into the mix.”

McElhinny went on to make a number of strong points, noting that none of Samsung’s executives were willing to fly to the US from Korea to participate in the trial. “We called some of their top people,” he said. “Samsung had a chance to defend itself in this case. Instead of witnesses, they brought you lawyers.”

And now Samsung:

“Apple’s here asking for what it is not entitled to,” Charles Verhoeven said. “It’s here asking you to prevent its largest competitor from giving consumers what they want. …Rather than competing in the marketplace, they are trying to win in the courtroom. …It’s attempting to block its most serious competitor from even playing the game.”

“Your decision, if it goes Apple’s way, could change the way competition works in this country,” Verhoeven said…

“…Guess what, every single smartphone has a rectangular shape with rounded corners and a big screen,” he quipped. “Just walk through Best Buy. …So Apple is here seeking $2 billion damages for what? That little ornamentation on the screen. It’s amazing, really, Apple thinks it’s entitled to have a monopoly on a rounded rectangle with a touchscreen.”

Verhoeven finished up with a few other powerful points, telling the jury that Apple had not provided sufficient proof that consumers were confusing Samsung’s products with Apple’s. “There is no deception, no confusion, and Apple has no evidence of it. Consumers make choices, not mistakes.”

The entire transcript is worth the read, really. And for those interested, you can find it here. It kind of recaps the whole trial, and really gives you some insight into how both companies feel about the case.

I know one thing, I wouldn’t want to be on that jury right now, with $2.5 billion dollars and the fate of competition hanging in the balance. Both sides have made some pretty valid points, how do you choose?

Deliberation begins tomorrow. Stay tuned.

[Image credit: Vicki Behringer]

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  • Edgar_W

    All things considered, the original premiss of the trial [in the simplest terms] was, “Did Samsung copy Apple?” I think it was proven that Samsung did indeed “lift” a few things here and there. What has to happen now after this is weather discovery merits innovation to patent shapes. I think this is where Samsung may go. . .

  • Kok Hean

    I hope that it ends in a draw, because if one side wins, just one side, we (as users) will lose as well.

  • Liu Zhenyu

    I think Samsung has a few invalid points, if they said apple was trying to prevent competition, they have not innovated such a great product before, not feeling the sour of having someone create a design so similar and make bucks off it without much research and investment. Secondly, it doesn’t prove Samsung is innocent, only to say that apple sued them to rule out competition, if apple really wanted that, they would sue android, since the OS is more profitable than the exterior. Samsung runs android, so apple wouldn’t care to sue them unless they really felt Samsung was ripping them off with its design and hardware. Thirdly, Samsung said that everyone has a black rectangle around their phone… please, no one does it as similar as apple and this point is childish as it’s like saying, i broke the toy, but John and Amy also broke it, so I cannot be punished. Fourthly, Samsung is threatening the jury saying that if apple wins, no one will dare compete in the country. I say, it is more like no one dares to copy even the slightest bit, pushing their innovation to get to the top, somewhat like the iPhone. Samsung is right, it will change competition, but for the better.

    • Jack

      Fanboi!! How on earth does less competition change the market for the better. Take the dark days of intel as an example. There will be no winner to this.

      • Liu Zhenyu

        I hate to say this, but u don’t understand much about my comment. Samsung creates products from already existent products, thus the market will not innovate well and improve. Removing of these brands will help it. U may say, apple is not innovating much now too, but let’s see, sixth generation iPhone will be here soon. Again, what I say are just assumptions, which I dub quite accurate, so don’t get me wrong here.

    • Loopthree

      A, so you do think that apple can patent a rectangle?
      B, how is lack of competition a good thing?

      • Liu Zhenyu

        A: samsung lacks arguments, so argues on the rectangle specifically. Apple is suing much more for icons and others which are modified from the stock android, the black ring around the rectangle is not patentable, but it goes out of hand when some people not familiar with tech mixes them up due to many similarities eg. One home button. My main point is, the rectangle is not the area of focus, but when all the factors add up, people should not deny.
        B: Removing copycats and showing an example to other companies not to follow, and hopefully companies will learn to innovate instead of improving or changing from already existent designs and software.

      • Liu Zhenyu

        I really don’t get why people are thumbing my comment down, either they are staunch Samsung fans or Apple haters, but I don’t believe they are too ignorant to accept my points, after all , they make sense.

  • @dongiuj

    I hope it’s a draw. Reducing the chances monopolization, giving the consumer the real choices and maybe increasing the chances of innovation.

    • Liu Zhenyu

      The only real way for consumers to make universal choices is the removal of copycat brands, which almost never create products containing much innovations. Inspiration to do better is one thing, stealing is another.

      • @dongiuj

        What about TVs, cars, computers, houses, curtains, keyboards, chairs, fridge, the list goes on. All look and do the same thing but the consumer has the choice. What’s your point?

      • Liu Zhenyu

        ‘Yes, I am sure the products you mentioned Have a software involved and someone has sued another for a table having 3 legs.’

        Anyone with a common sense should understand the difference, patented and not. I am sure a car or TV company has sued another for copying it and infringe its patent. Yes consumers have the choice, but u would not like it if somebody steals ur product and makes lots of money off it.

      • @dongiuj

        So, you want apple to win or samsung to win?

      • Liu Zhenyu

        U tell me

      • @dongiuj

        What, you don’t know?

      • Liu Zhenyu

        Do u not sense my sarcarsm?

      • @dongiuj

        I’m gonna guess, because you haven’t answered mu question. I think you’re swinging apples way. In that case good luck. But if they win i believe it’s gonna be negative for the consumers future.
        Oh, and if you are who I think you are then congratulations on cleaning up you vonversation skills. A lot better.

      • @dongiuj

        Sorry, i mean conversation,not vonversation.god i hate this disqus thing/twitter app.

      • Liu Zhenyu

        Have we met?

      • @dongiuj

        I’ve come across a Liu Zhenyu on this blog before but I guess there are so many people with that name…

      • Liu Zhenyu

        i find it funny that u are the only one who thumbed down my previous 4 comments. And yes we’ve met

      • SoCoMagNuM

        thats what ive been saying since the get go.

  • Felipe A.

    I bet few of you really know about smartphones before iphone, so to be fear just take a look at the p800, p900 and p910 from sonyericsson 2002,

    apple copied the side card dock? invented the rear camera? invented the smartphone? multipin conector?

    please…. invented the icons??? seriously…..
    they must keep the leadership by quality and new ways to do the same but not for patenting what is already done by others like they do with ideas from cydia tweaks.

    just my ideas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sony_Ericsson_P910

    • http://twitter.com/_XemnasX_ Justin Michael Edens

      please don’t try to prove a point with a wikipedia link. It’s easier to find false info from it, and if it is true info then it can be found on other sites as well, which you should link from.