With jury selection complete, Apple is ready to call its own senior vice president or worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, to the stand as the first witness in its latest patent infringement trial with Samsung. The two are squaring off in their second major U.S. case over accusations that they are infringing on each other's mobile device patents.
Apple's first witness in Samsung patent trial will be Phil Schiller
Calling Mr. Schiller to the stand will help Apple establish its case that Samsung is copying its product designs. He could testify today, depending on when opening arguments wrap up.
Judge Lucy Koh wanted jury selection to wrap up yesterday so she could keep the trial on track. Assuming everything stays on track, closing arguments should happen before the end of April.
This trial parallels one in August 2012 where a jury found that Samsung infringed on a long list of Apple patents, but that Apple didn't infringe on Samsung's. Apple was awarded nearly US$1 billion in damages in that case, although it hasn't been able to collect yet because Samsung is appealing the ruling.
The new trial includes some of the same patents from before, but targets mobile devices that weren't part of the earlier case.
According to Apple, Samsung's Android-based smartphone and tablet product lines blatantly ripp off iOS as well as iPhone and iPad designs. Samsung contends that it came up with its designs independently of what Apple created, and that it's actually Apple that has been stealing from its patents.
So far, Apple has faired well against Samsung in courts around the world, but jury trials are always something of a gamble. The arguments that swayed the previous jury to Apple's side may not work this time, so there isn't any guarantee of another landslide victory.
Even though Judge Koh expects the trial to wrap up in the next couple weeks, that doesn't mean it'll be over quickly. After closing arguments, the jury will have to come up with its verdict, sentencing will follow that, and then the all but guaranteed appeals will come.
With appeals for their first U.S. patent infringement case only recently filed, both will continue on for the foreseeable future. Until a resolution in both cases can be reached, the two companies will continue to sell their products and throwing serious money at their legal teams.