Apple vs Samsung: copy or competition?

Apple vs Samsung is a hot issue of the time. Lawyers for Apple and Samsung discussed the differences between copying and fair competition to present their arguments on Tuesday on the second day of the mega-trial in the United States for violation of patents, which pits the two technology giants.

Harold Mc Elhinny, one of Apple’s lawyers in proceedings before a federal court in San Jose, California, told the jury that Samsung began to copy the U.S. firm was publicly presented only the iPhone in January 2007.

Apple vs Samsung: copy or competition

“At the same time that Apple cofounder Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, warned his competitors that it had applied for patent protection for more than 200 new inventions in the iPhone,” Mc Elhinny said. “Samsung could invent their own designs, Apple could beat fairly in the market. Or Apple could copy it’s easier to copy than to innovate,” he added.

Mc Elhinny said, in turn, that Samsung copied specific characteristics, such as the rebound effect in the display function when the end of the screen, or use of black colored throughout the device, which before the iPhone did not exist. “At the highest corporate levels, Samsung decided to copy every element of the iPhone,” he said. “This was not an accident. A copy of Samsung was intentional”.

The lawyer argued that Samsung made dozens of changes as Apple updated its products so that the end result was identical to that of Apple products.

Samsung’s lawyer, Charles Verhoeven, countered the arguments of Apple with its own version of history of mobile phones, citing several cases of large-screen phones before the iPhone. The South Korean company is not a “copier” or someone who came later, Verhoeven said, but a large technology company that develops its own innovations. And he said that internal documents show that Apple’s designers were inspired by U.S. giant also in competition, including Sony. The iPhone was actually an “inspiration” for many, but there is nothing wrong with that said Verhoeven. “Is that rape? No, that’s competition,” he said. The lawyer said the design of Samsung can be clearly distinguished from Apple even for ordinary observer.

Apple claims more than 2,500 million dollars to Samsung for copying its designs and patents, while the South Korean firm accuses the iPhone maker of violating some of its patents for wireless communications. The suit seeks to unravel these accusations.

Google on the other hand, although not directly involved in the case, while its operating system Android is used on devices from Samsung, will take center stage in the trial.

Apple and Samsung, which together monopolize almost half the global market for smartphones – 49.5% – also face legal in several European countries and Australia. In the U.S., Samsung is on the defensive. In some region sales of the ten inches Galaxy tablet and Galaxy Nexus phone designed with Google were suspended.

The case has enormous financial implications for both companies and for the flourishing industry of mobile devices. A survey by research firm IDC showed that Samsung sold 50.2 million smartphones worldwide in the April-June period, up 172.8% over the previous year, while Apple sold only 26 million iPhones. Samsung is the leading manufacturer of smartphones with Android, which has become the most popular platform despite claims that Apple has infringed its patents.