Apple vs. Samsung Patent Trial Begins: 10 Things You Should Know

NEWS ANALYSIS: Apple and Samsung are in the early stages of the latest in a series of patent infringement trials the two mobile device makers have contested in courtrooms around the world. Here are the issues that brought the two sides to U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif.

Apple and Samsung are locked in what might just be the biggest patent infringement litigation campaign of the 21st century in courtrooms around the world. The latest phase of this campaign brought both sides to a trial in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., where they are accusing each other of violating patents they hold for mobile phone technology.

The ultimate victor could receive billions of dollars in damages and in the process, the entire mobile phone market along with our understanding of patent law could be dramatically altered.

But trying to weave through the many elements of the trial that convened in San Jose on July 30 isn€™t always easy. Both companies are making very strident accusations and so far, it€™s been impossible to determine which side has the best case. What is clear, however, is that if you are interested in the phones manufactured by Apple and Samsung, or in the future of the mobile phone industry, you should keep an eye on this trial.

Read on to learn more about Apple Inc. vs. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

1. They tried talking it out

Apple and Samsung tried to work out their differences. As usual in these cases, the court ordered the companies€™ CEOs to hold talks to see if they could figure out a solution. It didn€™t happen. And now, they€™re locked in a trial to see which side will win.

2. Apple says Samsung is copying its iPhone and iPad

Apple argues that Samsung is violating several of its patents related to the iPhone and iPad. In fact, Apple has used product designs to make its case. In one court filing, Apple shows off Samsung€™s products before and after it launched the iPhone and iPad. Those photos alone, the company argues, prove its point.

3. Samsung, of course, says it€™s innocent

Samsung claims it was developing concepts for its devices long before Apple started its own development and the Korea-based company says it can prove it. The onus will be on Samsung to prove that point as the trial goes on.

4. Apple wants $2.5 billion in damages

If Apple wins, the company is looking for a major payday. Apple has calculated that Samsung€™s alleged infringement should cost $2.5 billion, based on the length of time the products were on store shelves and several other factors. Whether Apple will actually get that figure, however, remains to be seen.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...