Apple has criticized Samsung's recent success as the world's number one smartphone maker by saying that the South Korean tech giant got to the top spot by copying the Cupertino-based company's products. This comes at a time when both Apple and Samsung have agreed to drop roughly half the number of charges against each other, ahead of a court-moderated settlement talk in San Francisco to ensure that a trial can be heard as early as this summer.
During the quarter ended March 31, 2012, Samsung overtook archrival Apple to become the number one smartphone manufacturer in the world. The South Korean tech giant constantly claims its range of products comprise innovative, independently developed technologies, which Apple decries by saying that Samsung has vaulted into first place in worldwide sales of smartphones, with massive sales of its copycat products.
FOSS Patents's Florian Mueller says that due to Samsung's incredible growth rate, the alleged infringements pose massive, continuing harm to Apple's business. To underscore the sense of urgency of the trial, Apple explained the following in the court documents:
Samsung's infringement of Apple's intellectual property has already resulted in damages that reach billions of dollars. [...] It is critical to Apple to start trial on July 30, to put an end to Samsung's continuing infringement.
Samsung too fired back its argument. Mueller wrote:
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Samsung claims Apple is '[u]nable to compete in the marketplace' and 'instead seeking to compete through litigation, requesting injunctions against the full lineup of Samsung's mobile phones and tablet products'. Samsung also says that 'Apple has only been able to muster utility patents covering extremely minor user interface features, and design patents and trade dresses that offer far narrower protection than Apple urges'.
Christian Zibreg of iDownloadBlog thinks that Apple is trying to add 'damages that reach billions of dollars' to any potential injunction stemming from an eventual abuse of its patents.
Zibreg pointed toward another FOSS Patents report saying that an ITC judge threw out over 3,000 pages of attachments filed by Apple to challenge Samsung's patents, thereby forcing Apple to focus on its strongest points because the ITC is unwilling to accept and evaluate thousands of pages that attack Samsung's patent claims element by element.
According to Redmond Pie, unlike Steve Jobs, current Apple CEO Tim Cook is not a huge fan of the legal battle. That said, he will be more than open to settling provided he is assured other companies will not continue using Apple's innovation as the basis of their own products.
As Mueller noted, it's very difficult to say which side will have the last laugh after the trial. But in case there's no harmonious decision later this month between the two frenemies, the gloves will be coming off as the two sets of lawyers continue their court battles.