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Samsung to Apple: It's not copying, it's competing

In an opening statement in its case against Apple, Samsung says similarities between its devices and Apple's are due to the competitive nature of the electronics business.

Outside U.S District Court in San Jose, Calif., the scene of the Apple v. Samsung trial.
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Samsung argued in court today that any similarities between its products and Apple's are just the result of doing business in the electronics industry.

"We're not standing here telling you ladies and gentleman of the jury that the iPhone wasn't commercially successful. It was an inspiring product to everyone, including the competition," Samsung's lawyer Charlie Verhoeven said. "But being inspired by a product and seeking to make better products is competition."

"It's not copying," he said.

Samsung's legal team proceeded to go into detail about how its phones were different from Apple's, going so far as to show off close-ups of rounded corners and home screens, as well as differences in how the devices started up when consumers turned them on.

"Evidence is going to show that Apple didn't invent the rectangular shaped form factor. Apple didn't invent having a touch screen," Verhoeven said.

Each side has an hour and a half to lay out its case. Apple opened this morning with the notion that it was the underdog in the world of cell phones, and that Samsung copied its designs and software technologies.

Samsung began its opening by countering that notion, saying it has been a huge innovator and made many of the key components for Apple's iOS devices. That includes flash memory, application processors, and main memory.

"The guts that make this phone work...they are all supplied by Samsung," Verhoeven told jurors. "Apparently Apple thinks Samsung invented something, because it's buying products for its own devices."

Patents, patents, patents
After a brief interlude so that the court could break for lunch, Verhoeven picked back up by saying that Samsung was going to use its string of expert testimony and prior art to pick apart the patents Apple is aiming in its direction.

Part of that process included breaking out an early prototype of the iPad, dubbed the 035, to address claims of the '889 patent -- a design patent Apple was granted depicting the shape of a tablet, which it is now using against Samsung's tablets. Pictures of that prototype device surfaced in court filings earlier this month, though Verhoeven brought the device into court to hold it up next to the first-generation iPad, the one Apple ended up putting on sale.

"Their own expert testifies that this (holding the original iPad) is different from the '889 patent, but Apple claims this is similar," Verhoeven told jurors. "The evidence does not add up."

Samsung brought up several instances of what it said was prior art, suggesting others beat Apple to the punch both in product design and software features. That included examples of phones and tablets in a handful of design patent illustrations. To demonstrate the software features, Samsung played videos depicting existing instances of things like touching a screen to scroll, and pinching to zoom -- both of which were shown in existing patent filings from other companies.

Nonetheless, Verhoeven later referred to such patents as "neat little things you can do on the touch screen," saying the patents it was using against Apple in its counterclaim were "the guts" of important phone features like data transmission. Verhoeven also put out initial defense against Apple's claims that such patents were in violation of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)'s guidelines, one of which requires its members to disclose intellectual property related to potential wireless standards.

"What you were not told is that the duty to disclose does not apply to ETSI for confidential information." Verhoeven said. "The applications, the patent applications Apple is pointing to were confidential. They were confidential Korean patent applications."

Following opening statements the case moves into the evidence phase, which includes expert testimonies. The first comes from Apple designer, Christopher Stringer.

Update at 2:10 p.m. PT with more information from the continuation of Samsung's opening statements, which were split up by a lunch break.

Now playing: Watch this: Inside Scoop: Apple and Samsung's patent battle