Apple and Samsung’s second major U.S. patent trial kicked off today with opening statements from both companies. Cupertino’s case again focuses on claims that its South Korean rival copied the original iPhone directly when developing its own line of Android handsets, this time focusing on five key software patents that it says the company knowingly violated. Meanwhile, Samsung opened with a claim that Apple’s devices actually violate two of its own software patents.
In Apple’s opening statement the company’s lawyer, Harold McElhinny, highlighted the claim that the five patents in focus are just a tiny fraction of the intellectual property Samsung stole. “We can’t try 50 patents,” he said. In response, Samsung’s lawyer called these claims a “gross exaggeration,” adding that they key selling points for its devices are screen size and battery life, not its software.
Apple was careful to avoid bringing Google and Android into its claims, noting that Samsung “made the decision to copy these features.” However, Samsung’s lawyers were quick to call the trial “an attack on Android,” arguing that the case is more than anything an attempt to reclaim lost mobile marketshare. A number of Google engineers including Android co-founder Andy Rubin are expected to testify for Samsung during the trial.
The patent trial is set to run through April, and we’re expecting plenty more surprises from both companies as they duke it out in court. Both sides have 25 hours in total to make their cases which comes out to three days in court per week through April 29 or 30.