Three weeks into Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung’s (SSNLF.PK) latest round of patent litigation, which could result in Samsung being slapped with a $2 billion fine, Samsung has switched gears from defending itself against accusations that it copied Apple’s patented technology to accusing Apple of infringing its own patents. According to IDG News Service, in court on Monday, Samsung presented two patents it owns that it believes Apple’s iPhones infringe upon.
U.S. patent 5,579,239 relates to sending video over cellular networks, which Apple does with its FaceTime service. U.S. patent 6,226,449 covers how images and video are classified in a media library. Samsung did not develop either of those technologies itself but purchased the rights to the patents. The first was developed by Hitachi, and the second by an inventor named Michael Freeman and his family.
Freeman spoke as a witness in the trial on Monday, describing how his company developed the technology necessary to transmit live video between cell phones without the need for microwave or satellite trucks. Both patents were originally developed in the mid-1990s, and Apple could argue that the original uses stated for the technologies in the patents are now obsolete, IDG said.
Earlier in the trial, Samsung argued that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which makes the Android operating system that powers Samsung devices, is responsible for some of the features that Apple says are infringing its patents. Apple is suing over five different patents that the company believes Samsung blatantly copied from the iPhone — they cover the technology for data tapping, unified search, organizing media, asynchronous data syncing, slide-to-unlock, and remote video transmission. Apple acknowledged that the damages it’s asking for are high but argued that the damage done to its business has been drastic enough to warrant such a high fee.
Samsung has also brought in experts to speak on its behalf that the patents Apple’s referring to are not being infringed upon by Samsung’s smartphones. Last week, senior UI designer Youngmi Kim took the stand to testify about the slide-to-unlock feature. The designer has worked for Samsung since 2004. She said through a translator that it makes no sense for Samsung to copy Apple, since they want to differentiate their products. Another expert witness, Kevin Jeffay, a professor of computer science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said that Apple’s patent is more limited than it claims in the lawsuit.
Overall, Apple thinks that Samsung has been ruthlessly copying its products and stealing potential Apple customers. The South Korea-based Samsung believes that Apple is trying to throttle consumer choice and create an even smaller smartphone market. As that market has become increasingly saturated, Samsung and Apple have been shown to account for all of the industry’s profits.
Apple and Samsung are both getting close to reaching the 25 hours Judge Lucy Koh gave them to make their arguments. Closing remarks are due on Monday. Afterwards, the jury will begin trying to determine whether Samsung deserves that huge fine.
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