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Apple: Samsung made 'false statements' during opening argument

Apple asks the judge in a California patent case to let it present previously banned testimony and evidence. Samsung, unsurprisingly, says the motion should be denied.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
4 min read


And so the Apple v. Samsung legal wrangling continues.

In a California patent case, Apple filed a motion late Thursday asking the court to let it present previously banned evidence and testimony. At issue is whether Apple itself uses the patents it has accused Samsung of copying. Samsung's attorneys, during their opening arguments Tuesday, said Apple doesn't use them. But Apple says it does, and that it should be able to demonstrate this to the jury.

Apple argues that Samsung "made prejudicial and false statements during opening statements that have unfairly prejudiced Apple," so it needs to be able to talk about how it uses the patents it says Samsung infringes.

"During opening statements, Samsung's counsel repeatedly made irrelevant, misleading, and even untrue statements that have undoubtedly caused the jury to form impressions that are highly prejudicial to Apple," the company's attorneys said in the court motion.

Along with being able to present evidence that it uses its patents, Apple wants the court to "recognize Apple's continuing objection to any further misleading or false statements by Samsung." The company also has asked the court to issue instructions, immediately and at the time the jury receives its final instructions, that would "curtail the harm and prejudice caused by Samsung's improper statements to the jury."

So what did Samsung say that was so bad? The company's attorneys argued Tuesday that Apple has accused Samsung of infringing patents that the Cupertino, Calif., company doesn't even think are important enough to use in its devices.

"Apple wants you believe these claims are worth over $2 billion even though they're not valuable enough for Apple to use," Samsung attorney John Quinn said during his opening arguments. "Apple is seeking massive damages on fictitious lost sales because of very small features you'll learn didn't have an impact on sales at all."

Almost two years after Apple and Samsung faced off in a messy patent dispute, the smartphone and tablet rivals have returned to the same San Jose, Calif., courtroom to argue once again over patents before federal Judge Lucy Koh. Apple is arguing that Samsung infringed on five of its patents for the iPhone, its biggest moneymaker, and that Apple is due $2 billion for that infringement. Samsung wants about $7 million from Apple for infringing two of its software patents.

While the companies are asking for damages, the case is about more than money. What's really at stake is the market for mobile devices. Apple now gets two-thirds of it sales from the iPhone and iPad, South Korea-based Samsung is the world's largest maker of smartphones, and both want to keep dominating the market. So far, Apple is ahead when it comes to litigation in the US. Samsung has been ordered to pay the company about $930 million in damages.

Samsung said in its response Thursday that the court should deny Apple's motion. It says Apple waived any objection to its attorneys' comments by failing to say anything during Samsung's opening arguments. Samsung also said Apple "has twice deliberately chosen to drop its claims" to certain parts of the patents, rather than subject them to the court's orders to narrow them and Samsung's challenges about their validity.

"Apple's motion grossly misrepresents stipulated facts in an attempt to paint Samsung's opening argument as misleading, and in hopes of obtaining relief that the court has denied time and again," Samsung said in its response.

Apple v. Samsung 2014: The gadgets in question

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Samsung added that the court should grant it some sort of remedy for "Apple's promoting and highlighting excluded evidence in a manner sure to attract publicity and likely taint the jury." The court also should declare that Apple doesn't practice the patents at issue, Samsung argued.

In the case, Apple and Samsung have accused each other of copying features used in their popular smartphones and tablets, and the jury will have to decide who actually infringed and how much money is due. This trial involves different patents and newer devices than the ones disputed at trial in August 2012 and in a damages retrial in November 2013. For instance, the new trial involves the iPhone 5 , released in September 2012, and Samsung's Galaxy S3 , which also debuted in 2012.

The latest trial kicked off Monday with jury selection. Tuesday featured opening arguments and testimony by Phil Schiller, Apple's head of marketing. Court will resume Friday with Schiller again taking the stand.

There are seven patents at issue in the latest case -- five held by Apple and two by Samsung. Apple has accused Samsung of infringing US patents Nos. 5,946,647; 6,847,959; 7,761,414; 8,046,721; and 8,074,172. All relate to software features, such as "quick links" for '647, universal search for '959, background syncing for '414, slide-to-unlock for '721, and automatic word correction for '172. Overall, Apple argues that the patents enable ease of use and make a user interface more engaging.

Samsung, meanwhile, has accused Apple of infringing US patents Nos. 6,226,449 and 5,579,239. The '449 patent, which Samsung purchased from Hitachi, involves camera and folder organization functionality. The '239 patent, which Samsung also acquired, covers video transmission functionality and could have implications for Apple's use of FaceTime.

The Samsung gadgets that Apple says infringe are the Admire, Galaxy Nexus , Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S II, Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy SII Skyrocket, Galaxy S3, Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, and the Stratosphere. Samsung, meanwhile, says the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPod Touch (fifth generation) and iPod Touch (fourth generation) all infringe.

The arguments by Apple and Samsung in the latest case are expected to last until April 29 or 30, at which time the jury will deliberate. Court will be in session three days each week -- Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays -- though the jury will deliberate every business day until it has reached a verdict.