Apple vs. Samsung: Implications of Samsung’s ‘Misconduct’

Samsung’s move to issue a statement to the press which featured information that was excluded from the trial has resulted in Apple screaming hoarse to the judge seeking severe punishment against the South Korean firm for its alleged misconduct. On July 31, Samsung representatives released a statement selectively to a section of the media about how it was made to exclude crucial evidence from the trial, which would have managed to convince the jury how Samsung’s designs were not copied from Apple’s products.

The excluded evidence in question comprises of images of a phone that Samsung was developing way back in 2006, months before the iPhone was even introduced into the market. Samsung was also not allowed to include as evidence documents alleging how Apple’s design for its iPhone was also inspired by a Sony prototype. Presiding judge of the trial, Lucy Koh, disallowed Samsung from showing these documents to the jurors during the trial, but Samsung then went ahead and released this information to the media.

Apple is not too pleased with Samsung’s move and has tried to play this to its advantage by requesting the court to sanction Samsung for its actions and favor Apple’s claims of Samsung’s infringement on the iPhone’s design patents. Apple has also claimed that this is just the latest in a series of misconducts on Samsung’s parts, which includes failure to comply with two discovery requests in the past regarding Samsung’s analysis of Apple’s products. In addition, Apple has stated that Samsung has not complied with an order to produce information on the production of source code for the Samsung products concerning the trial. Also, Apple has accused Samsung of destroying evidence that would be favorable to Apple’s case.

The mudslinging, however, is a two-sided game, with Samsung countering with a statement terming Apple’s claims as baseless. Samsung, in its defense, has clarified that it released this information to the media in light of the court’s rulings to keep the trial “open”, giving the public and media maximum possible access. Even while Apple has called for sanctions against Samsung during the trial, Samsung has denied trying to influence the jury in any manner and has filed a claim stating that it has not released any false or deceptive information, and has no intention to undermine the integrity of the trial.

Samsung has requested that Apple’s “self-serving” recommendations of sanctions against Samsung for releasing information to the press ought to be rejected by the court. However, should the court consider Apple’s recommendation, Samsung has requested for additional time to prepare a detailed response that it can file in its defense.

On Tuesday, Apple’s opening statement remarked that Samsung tweaked its mobile phone designs after the launch of the iPhone and copied the iPhone’s designs by making their phones minimalistic in design with an all black body and full glass displays. Samsung has countered this claim by stating that one of its phones, the F700, already had some elements of this design well before the iPhone hit the market.

As the trial is set to resume Friday, the two companies and the rest of the world will hopefully get more clarity on who gets a favorable response from the court.… Read the rest

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