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Apple, Samsung make final pitches to U.S. jury in patent trial

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[April 30, 2014]  By Dan Levine

SAN JOSE, California (Reuters)  Apple has vastly exaggerated the importance of its patented iPhone features, a Samsung attorney said on Tuesday as the two companies delivered closing arguments to jurors after a month-long trial over mobile technology.

Apple, however, argued that the South Korean company could not have competed in the smartphone market without copying its flagship phone. The two companies also sparred over how Google's work on the software used in Samsung phones should impact Apple's patent claims.

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.

The current trial involves a fresh batch of Apple patents, which cover iPhone features like slide to unlock and search technology. Apple is again seeking to ban sales of several Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S III, as well as roughly $2 billion in damages.

Samsung also claims Apple violated two of its patents, and is seeking to ban the iPhone 5.

In court on Tuesday, Samsung attorney William Price said some of Apple's patented technology in the case was never even incorporated into the iPhone. That undermines Apple's claim for billions in damages.

"They have to get you a little angry to justify this number," Price told the eight-member jury.

But Apple attorney Harold McElhinny said Samsung's copying of Apple technology has greatly harmed the iPhone maker and turned the smartphone market into a two horse race.

"Unlike in fairly tales, we know that Samsung's illegal strategy has been wildly successful," McElhinny said.

While Apple called several engineers to testify at trial, Samsung did not produce any of its own software executives to discuss the creation of its phones, he said.

"None of them were brave enough to come here and face cross examination," McElhinny said.

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Samsung's phones run on the Android mobile operating system developed by Google Inc. Google is not a defendant in the case, but during the trial Samsung pointed out that some of the features Apple claims to own were actually invented by Google. Samsung called a handful of Google executives to testify on its behalf.

McElhinny said the fact that Google developed Android is irrelevant to Apple's ability to collect damages from Samsung. Google agreed to reimburse Samsung for some of those costs, he said.

"At the end of the day Google will not be an issue for you," McElhinny said.

But Price said Google's development of Android belies the idea that Samsung took Apple's technology.

"Google is critical on the question of copying because we didn't copy," Price said. "Samsung didn't copy."

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)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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