The high-profile and long-anticipated Apple versus Samsung trial kicked off in San Jose, California yesterday morning with a jury selection process consisting of a 20-minute question and answer session in which a pool of 74 potential jurors was whittled down to 10. Those 10 individuals -- seven men and three women ranging in occupation from social worker to an unemployed video gamer seeking a software degree -- will hear arguments from Apple and Samsung in a case the latter described as "fighting over rectangles."
While Samsung and Apple continue to tangle in court over patent infringement claims brought on by the latter, the former spends its spare time shipping smartphones, and a great number of them at that. In the second quarter of 2012, Samsung figures it shipped 52.1 million smartphones, or nearly double that of its closest rival, Apple, which shipped 26 million iPhone devices in the same time period.
If you're into sports, then you know how maddening it can be to see the referees penalize teams like crazy in one game, and then swallow their whistles in the next. That makes it hard for players and coaches to decipher the rules, which is exactly how Samsung must be feeling right about now. Not only are different courts around the world issuing opposite rulings in Samsung's patent fight with Apple, at least one is also factoring in the size of Samsung's devices, or so it seems.
Nobody likes to eat crow, but what do you do when a judge in a court of law hands you plate full of it and orders you to shove it down your gullet? The answer to that question is forthcoming. Apple, which has been on a crusade to bury Samsung for allegedly copying the look and feel of its iPad and iPhone devices, was ordered by a U.K. judge to flip the script and take out ads stating Samsung is innocent.
AU Optronics Corp., LG Display, and Toshiba Corp. have all three agreed to pay a combined $571 million in damages to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging the three were involved in a scheme to artificially drive up the price of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. That's on top of over $550 million collected from seven other manufacturers earlier in the year, which tallies up to over $1.1 billion in class-action penalties.
If you're a Sprint customer using a Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone, there's plenty of blame to go around for why your universal search feature is now broken, provided you installed the latest security update. You can blame Apple, which holds U.S. patent number 8,086,604 related to "using a plurality of heuristic algorithms" to search multiple locations at once. You can blame U.S. patent law and hate the game, not the player. Samsung and its legal team deserve a bit of scorn for not putting together a better legal defense, and Sprint gets some blame for not making it clear that Galaxy SIII owners were about to lose their 'Quick Search' feature by installing the latest update.
Samsung hasn't had much to celebrate lately in the legal arena, and the fact that a U.K. judge deemed the company's Galaxy Tab "not as cool" as Apple's iPad seems like it would only rub salt in the wound. However, it's for that very reason that Judge Colin Birss sided with Samsung, ruling that Apple's patent infringement claim, which has been successful in the U.S., is bogus.
Samsung is having a crummy week. After losing a court battle in which Apple was successfully able to convince an appeals court to ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.S., Samsung learned a day later that it would also have to pull its Galaxy Nexus smartphone from store shelves. Adding insult to injury, Samsung has just been denied a preliminary injunction against sales of said smartphones.
Remember being told, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again?" Apple heard the message loud and clear, and applied that philosophy to our legal system where, on appeal, it was able to win a big victory against Samsung. No longer is Samsung allowed to sell its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the U.S. after U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, ruled in Apple's favor upon a second examination.
At long last, Samsung's highly anticipated Galaxy S III smartphone has crossed the U.S. border, having already shipped to more than two dozen other countries last month. T-Mobile gets first dibs on Samsung's newest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) device, with AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, and U.S. Cellular planning to offer the smartphone "in-store and online within the next several weeks," Samsung says. Odd wording by Samsung since AT&T is scheduled to offer the Galaxy S III sometime today as well (currently is listed as "Due Today" on AT&T's website).