Samsung Misled Jury in $2 Billion Patent Trial, Apple Says

Apr 03, 2014 9:59 pm ET

(Updates with Samsung’s argument in eighth paragraph.)

April 3 (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. accused Samsung Electronics Co. of misleading jurors at the start of a $2 billion trial over smartphone technology by claiming the iPhone maker wasn’t using three of the five patents at issue in the case.

John Quinn, a lawyer for Samsung, made “misleading and even untrue” arguments about whether Apple “practices” the patents, or incorporates them into its products, during opening arguments at trial this week in federal court in San Jose, California, Apple said in a filing today.

The fight at the outset of the second U.S. trial between the world’s top smartphone makers exemplifies how bitterly contested the case is, and how aggressively the companies want to check any advantage their opponent might gain. The jury in the first trial in 2012 awarded $1.05 billion in damages to Apple, which is seeking twice as much this time.

The smartphone market was valued at $338.2 billion last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Samsung had 31 percent of industry revenue, compared with 15 percent for Apple, whose share of the market has shrunk as the touch-screen interface has become commonplace and Samsung, LG Electronics Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. have introduced lower-cost alternatives.

Addressing the jury for the first time on April 1, Quinn called Apple’s case a thinly veiled attack on Google Inc., whose Android operating system is used in Samsung phones, and accused the iPhone maker of exaggerating how much harm it has suffered from alleged copying of patented functions.

‘Valuable Enough’

“Apple admits that three of the five patent claims that it is suing on were not in that iPhone and have never been in any iPhone since,” Quinn told jurors, according to today’s filing. “Apple doesn’t consider it valuable enough to even use.”

Apple today asked U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh, who is overseeing the trial, to let it show jurors how the Cupertino, California-based company is using the three patents, and requested that she correct Quinn’s “false statements” and explain the misrepresentations to jurors.

Samsung said in a filing today that Apple was required to voice any objection to its argument at the April 1 opening arguments.

“This concludes the matter, and the court can rule against Apple’s motion for this reason alone,” according to the filing.

Pretrial Arguments

Samsung also said that in pretrial arguments Apple gave up its right to pursue claims that it uses the patents at issue.

Apple presented mostly the same arguments and evidence on April 1 that the company used in 2012 to persuade the jury to find that Samsung infringed six out of seven patents at issue. Damages were later knocked down to $930 million after a retrial.

This time, Apple claims that 10 Samsung products, including the Galaxy S3, infringe five different patents. Samsung alleges that nine Apple products, including the iPhone 5 and versions of the iPad and iPod, infringe two patents. Samsung seeks about $7 million in damages, according to a court filing.

Harold McElhinny, a lawyer for Apple, told jurors in his April 1 opening that Samsung, not Google, made the decision to use the infringing features to sell more than 37 million smartphones and tablets that violate its patents.

Quinn countered that Apple deliberately used “the b word,” a reference to the $2 billion damages request.

“They put that word out there, put that in your head,” he said. The amount “is a gross, gross exaggeration, and an insult to your intelligence.”

Testimony is scheduled to continue tomorrow with Samsung’s cross-examination of Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of product marketing and a confidant of founder Steve Jobs.

The case is Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., 12- cv-00630, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).