Apple Inc. general counsel Bruce Sewell (L) prepares to enter the Robert F. Peckham Federal Courthouse on July 30, 2012 in San Jose, Calif. The trial in the Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. patent battle begins today at a San Jose federal courthouse to determine if Samsung illegally copied technolgy used in Apple's popular iPhone and iPads. Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in damages.
Apple this morning accused Samsung of deliberately gaming the technology industry's standards system to unfairly benefit itself.
Opening arguments began Tuesday in the patent trial pitting Apple against Samsung on ornamental and functional technologies. Apple says Samsung copied its patented technology. Samsung says that Apple copied Sony's first.
Standards are agreed upon systems that allow devices to interact predictably. Technology companies meet with competitors to set such standards.
Apple lawyers, a team led by general counsel Bruce Sewell, used the example of the common electrical outlet: if there weren't a standard to the size and location of the holes in the socket, no one would be able to plug anything in.
Apple lawyers say Samsung engineers deliberately suggested the panel that sets standards adopt certain technologies without revealing Samsung held patents on those technologies. Samsung, Apple argues, would also financially benefit if those standards were adopted.
In some cases, Apple says, Samsung revised old patents in an attempt to make money. Standards rules generally require participating companies to warn the standards body if the ideas under consideration contain patents that would benefit a company unfairly.
Apple lawyers contend not only did Samsung not play by those rules -- it deliberately flouted those rules to play the standards game unfairly.
To back up that claim, Apple lawyers introduced into evidence video of Samsung executive Jun Won Lee who said warning competitors that they were about to adopt standards that would benefit Samsung would be "stupid."
Samsung answered Apple's accusations it copied the look and feel of the Apple iPhone by showing the jury four examples of phones that appeared to be copies of the iPhone that in fact pre-dated the Apple device.
Apple "doesn't have a monopoly on rectangles with rounded corners," said Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven.
With a speaking style somewhat reminiscent of former President George W. Bush, Verhoeven said Samsung "was not some sort of copyist."
Samsung knows it's the visiting team in this San Jose courtroom, so 0bahonen was careful to point out hundreds of Samsung engineers lived and worked in the South Bay.
Samsung showed internal Apple emails that it claimed indicate that in 2006 Apple admired and may have copied some of Sony's ideas for the look and feel of a phone while iPhone was in development.
"There's nothing wrong with being inspired by someone else's design," said Verhoeven.