SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc.’s lawyer told a jury at a $2 billion trial that Samsung Electronics Co. made itself a dominant player in the smartphone industry only by copying the iPhone maker on “feature after feature” over several years.
In 2007, when Apple introduced the iPhone, Samsung had only 5 percent of the U.S. mobile handset market and didn’t even offer a touch smartphone, attorney Harold McElhinny said.
Now, having elected to methodically “copy feature after feature after feature of the iPhone” in its own devices, Samsung is the world’s leading seller of smartphones powered by Google’s Android operating system, Apple’s lawyer said.
Apple and Samsung made closing arguments after almost four weeks of testimony at their second U.S. trial over dueling claims of patent infringement.
The latest case in federal court in San Jose follows battles across four continents to dominate a market that was valued at $338.2 billion last year.
Samsung had 31 percent of industry revenue in 2013, compared with 15 percent for Apple, whose share of the market has shrunk as the touch-screen interface became more commonplace and Samsung, LG Electronics Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. have introduced lower-cost alternatives.
McElhinny, reprising a theme from the companies’ 2012 trial in which Apple won $930 million in damages, said Samsung continued manufacturing “version after version” of the infringing phones, even after Apple met with Samsung in 2010 to confront the company.
Bill Price, a lawyer for Samsung, began by telling jurors that McElhinny used the word “copy” frequently to “get you angry.” The evidence presented at trial shows that Apple doesn’t “practice,” or use, three of the five patents it’s asserting, he said.
The Samsung lawyer displayed a slide that read “NEVER IN THE IPHONE” for three of the patents and “NOT IN THE IPHONE NOW” for a fourth.
“You can’t copy something from the iPhone if it’s not in the iPhone,” Price said. While a company may be entitled to damages if it proves infringement of patents it doesn’t practice, that’s not the case with the iPhone, he argued.
“Samsung didn’t copy it, Google didn’t copy it,” Price said. “You can’t copy it if it isn’t there.”