California jurors get to work in Apple vs. Samsung trial

SAN JOSE, California Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:46pm EDT

1 of 2. The exterior of the federal courthouse is shown during jury deliberations for the Apple-Samsung trial in San Jose, California August 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) - Nine jurors began deliberating on Wednesday in Apple Inc's high stakes patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, a process that could take several days due to the complex legal issues in play.

The trial began late last month in a San Jose, California federal court, just miles from Apple's headquarters in Cupertino.

Apple accuses Samsung of copying the design and some features of its iPad and iPhone, and is asking for a sales ban in addition to monetary damages. South Korea's Samsung, which is trying to expand in the United States, says Apple infringed several patents, including some for its key wireless technology.

The two tech giants are going toe-to-toe in a patents dispute that mirrors the struggle for industry supremacy between the two rivals that control more than half of worldwide smartphone sales.

The jurors received more than 100 pages of legal instructions from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh on Tuesday, and heard closing arguments from attorneys.

Now, their task is to fill out a 20 page-long verdict form about seven Apple patents in the case, five from Samsung, along with other complicated legal claims.

The jury of seven men and two women includes a store operations manager for a cycling retailer, a systems engineer, a benefits and payroll manager who works with startups, and an unemployed video games enthusiast. All but two of them have college degrees.

If the jury decides that either company violated each other's patents -- and that those patents are valid -- the judge could then consider slapping a sales ban on Apple or Samsung mobile products.

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

(Reporting By Dan Levine, editing by Grant McCool and M.D. Golan)

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