Samsung and Apple trade barbs in the opening day of their patent infringement trial

Apple and Samsung kicked off day one of their patent infringement trial with a banter of back-and-forth accusations that reveal how far apart the two companies are in this trial. Apple lawyer Harold J. McElhinny argued that Samsung deliberately copied the iPhone and showed internal documents in which Samsung noted “the beautiful design” of the iPhone and called the handset “easy to copy.”

Samsung’s lawyer, Charles Verhoeven, of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, countered with the argument that these product comparisons are part of the design process and mentioned that all firms, including Apple, do these comparisons. He also claimed that Apple didn’t invent the rectangle form factor used by mobile phone manufacturers and argued that there is no evidence that a customer would mistake one of Samsung’s phones for an iPhone, a key point in the trade dress part of the trial.

Samsung also angered Judge Lucy Koh when the Korean company released documents to the media that were banned from the trial, says a report in The Verge. These documents show the F700 handset, which Samsung claims pre-dates the iPhone and shows that the company was working on its own iPhone-esque design. This piece of evidence, as well as documents showing Sony-inspired iPhone designs, were barred from the trial because Samsung produced them too late in the proceedings. The company has petitioned several times to admit the evidence into the trial, but Judge Lucy Koh has repeatedly denied these motions. Rather than continue to badger the court, Samsung turned to the media to make its point, a move that allegedly made Judge Koh furious.

You can read more about the trial in these overviews from CNET, ABC News, AllThingsD, the Wall Street Journal, The Verge and I, Cringely. Wired has an interesting post that pulls out all the juicy quotes from the trial. You can also check out this juror profile from Fortune’s Apple 2.0 blog and find out more about the folks who are deciding what some are calling the patent trial of the century.

[Via CNET, ABC News, AllThingsD, the Wall Street Journal, The Verge and I, Cringely]

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