SAN JOSE, California (Reuters) — Apple and
Samsung return to federal court on Tuesday for opening statements in
their latest patent battle, with the iPhone maker expected to present
more detailed evidence in its attempt to win a U.S. ban on sales of
several Samsung smartphones.
Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd have been litigating
around the world for nearly three years. Jurors awarded the iPhone
maker about $930 million after a 2012 trial in San Jose, California,
but Apple failed to persuade U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to issue a
permanent injunction against the sale of Samsung phones.
A sales ban would be a far more serious threat to Samsung, which
earned $7.7 billion in the quarter that ended in December. Samsung's
mobile division, which includes smartphones, generated operating
profit of 5.47 trillion won ($5.1 billion).
The two companies are set to embark on another trial in San Jose
over a fresh batch of Apple patents, which cover iPhone features
like slide to unlock and search technology. Apple is seeking to ban
sales of several Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S III.
Likewise, Samsung claims Apple violated two of its patents, and is
seeking to ban the iPhone 5. Samsung's phones use the Android
operating system developed by Google Inc.
In rejecting Apple's previous bid for a sales ban, Koh wrote that a
consumer survey Apple submitted in the 2012 trial likely inflated
the value that customers place on the smartphone features in
dispute, meaning Apple does not merit an injunction. Apple is
appealing that decision.
Apple has hired the same marketing expert to conduct a new consumer
survey for the current trial. But this latest effort contains
additional analysis about how Apple's patented features drive
consumer demand, according to court filings.
While the prior survey only concluded that there was general demand
for the patented features, the new study attempts to quantify the
proportion of customers Samsung would have lost if its smartphones
did not contain those features, court filings show.
Samsung tried to stop Apple from presenting that evidence to the
jury, arguing that the methodology was unsound. However, Koh agreed
in a February ruling to allow Apple to use the study.
The trial is expected to last until early May.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of California is
Apple Inc vs Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, 12-630.
(Reporting by Dan Levine; editing by Richard Chang)