Apple lawyer says Samsung deliberately chose to copy iPhone

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 31 Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:09pm EDT

SAN JOSE, Calif., July 31 (Reuters) - An Apple attorney told jurors on Tuesday that Samsung's own internal documents show that the South Korean company made a specific decision to copy the iPhone because it could not compete in the smartphone market on its own.

Opening statements began on Tuesday in the high profile U.S. trial between Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd . The world's largest consumer electronics corporations have been waging legal war around the world, accusing each other of patent violations as they vie for supremacy in a fast-growing market for mobile devices.

Apple attorney Harold McElhinny started off by showing slides that featured old Samsung phones from 2006 and compared it to the Korean company's newer smartphones from 2010.

The key question, McElhinny said, would be how Samsung moved from the old phones to "these phones."

"As we all know it is easier to copy than to innovate," he told the court. "Apple had already taken the risks."

Samsung's opening statement is expected to begin later on Tuesday.

The legal action began last year when Apple sued Samsung in a San Jose, California, federal court, accusing the South Korean company of slavishly copying the iPhone and iPad. Samsung countersued.

The Samsung products at issue run on the Android operating system, which is developed by Google.

McElhinny showed jurors an internal Samsung product analysis which said the iPhone's hardware was "easy to copy." Another document prepared by a Samsung executive said the company was in a "crisis of design" due to the iPhone.

Before opening statements began on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh dismissed one of the jurors, a woman who works as an insurance agent. The woman said her employer would not pay her salary during jury service.

The nine member jury is now made up of seven men and two women.

The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, is Apple Inc v. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd et al, No. 11-1846.

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.