As reported in the Simply-docs blog entry of 24th July 2012, executives from Apple and Samsung were unable to agree on the value of eachother’s patents at a settlement conference ahead of a high profile trial. The trial in question – to be heard by a jury – began on Monday 30th July 2012. It focuses on a multitude of similarities between the mobile phones and tablets produced by the two companies which, together, manufacture more than half of all the world’s smartphones.
The case, prompted by a lawsuit lodged by Apple in April 2011 which led to a countersuit being lodged by Samsung, could result in damages amounting to billions of dollars for either or both technology giants. Many different aspects of intellectual property will come into consideration, from hardware and user-interface design through to use of 3G technology and camera integration. Florian Muller, a patent consultant who has blogged about the run-up to the trial, said “No trial before this one has been about such a diversity of intellectual property rights – we have different kinds of patents and so-called trade dresses [packaging and appearance claims] in play.” He warned that “The jury is probably going to be able to tell whether some of Samsung’s products look similar to Apple’s, but it will almost certainly be overtaxed as far as the highly technical patents are concerned.”
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