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Samsung, Apple begin court talks

Publication Date : 01-08-2012


Samsung Electronics and Apple began their U.S. court battle over intellectual property rights in San Jose, California yesterday, with both sides vowing not to step down.

On the trial’s first day, the court selected a panel formed of 10 people -- seven men and three women -- and went forward with an objection hearing.

Samsung asked U.S. Judge Lucy Koh to block Apple from using the photos of its late founder Steve Jobs throughout the trials, while Apple requested that the court dismiss claims that the iPhone’s design was inspired by a Sony product.

Samsung’s request was rejected by Koh but the Korean electronics maker received a green light on drawing the connection between Apple and Sony designs.

The trial comes as Cupertino-based Apple seeks US$2.5 billion against its rival Samsung, claiming that the Suwon-based firm infringed on patents involving design among others.

Samsung also countersued Apple soon after the filing of a legal suit, arguing that the U.S. firm has infringed its patent right covering wireless communications technology and utility. It is demanding royalties as high as 2.4 per cent for each device sold.

The two companies will again meet in court on Wednesday, Korean time, to make their opening statements and request witnesses. Then they will go face-to-face for the third time this week on August 3 in the U.S.

The selected panel, which will attend the second trial to hear opening arguments, includes a man who filed for his own technology patents as well as a woman who worked for a semiconductor company and a software engineer, according to Bloomberg.

In the meantime, Samsung is currently struggling to get its key witness Shin Nishibori, a former Apple designer, to appear in court as a witness.

Samsung had been betting on Nishibori to appear in court to testify that he developed designs of a Sony-like iPhone under the orders of Apple’s design guru Jonathan Ive.

However, Nishibori has so far turned down the request stating that he left Apple earlier this month and that he is currently residing in Hawaii. He also said that he cannot come to court due to health issues that are not disclosable.

Samsung had been tracking down the whereabouts of Nishibori for the past year to attain evidence that Apple’s iPhone design -- which is praised for its innovation -- had been influenced by a Japanese Sony gadget.

However, it has become unclear whether Samsung’s key witness will appear in court.


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