Opening shots fired in Samsung versus Apple case

The opening shots in the Samsung versus Apple case are about as inane and silly as you would think.

The goal here is to convince a US jury that America invented everything and those nasty Asians just copied them. Apple attorneys will ask the jury to fine Samsung a ridiculous $2 billion in damages because it used five patents.

Harold McElhinny, one of the lead attorneys in Apple’s patent infringement lawsuit against Samsung, claimed that Samsung realised it did not have a product that could compete successfully against the iPhone.

He quoted internal Samsung documents, including a memo containing comments from JK Shin, Samsung’s head of mobile, that said the company was suffering a “crisis of design” and had to figure out how to respond to Apple.

McElhinny said Samsung copied the iPhone and it also took many other novel Apple inventions that have not yet appeared in Apple products.

McElhinny said Samsung has sold more than 37 million infringing devices. If the two parties had negotiated royalties, Samsung would have paid an average of $33 per device or $40 per device — or about $2 billion overall — for the use of all five Apple software patents.

Almost every expert on patents said that figure is wildly out and McElhinny admitted that the requested damage level is high, but said he hopes that at the end of the trial, the jury “will understand the reason the damages in the case are high is because the scope of Samsung’s infringement has been massive”.

Then it starts to get sillier. McElhinny insists that ten percent of people who would have bought Samsung devices would have purchased an iPhone if the Samsung device was not available. So therefore it will have to pay for Apple’s mythical lost sales. Given that Apple had a huge market share in the US at the time, that is like saying “we are a monopoly and anyone who creates competition for us should be fined”.

We will get to hear Samsung’s side of the story today.