Apple sues Samsung for $2 billion; Samsung sues Apple for $7 million

(Credit: Wis Physics)

After more than two years of preparation, bitter rivals Apple, Inc. and Samsung Electronics faced each other in front of a Silicon Valley jury in a patent infringement lawsuit with widely varying financial penalties.

Apple is arguing that Samsung infringed on five of its patents for the iPhone, its biggest moneymaker, and is due over $2 billion for that infringement. Samsung, the world's largest mobile phone maker, wants $7 million from Apple for infringing two of its software patents.

Apple's lawyers said Samsung should pay more than US$2 billion for repeated infringement of Apple patents in more than 37 million smartphones sold in the U.S. They said the reason the damages are high is because the scope of Samsung's infringement is massive.

Samsung, however, told the jury that the Apple figure was "a gross, gross exaggeration and an insult to your intelligence."

The five Apple patents related to smartphone functions Samsung is alleged to have infringed on are the slide-to-unlock feature that prevents accidental use; contextual links with contact information; word correction when typing; universal search of the phone and Internet and background syncing of data.

Apple is accused of infringing two Samsung patents: one on remote video transmission and another on digital imaging.

The case follows a similar high-profile patent infringement lawsuit in the same court that ended earlier this year with two juries awarding Apple $929 million in damages.

Apple's case rests largely on internal Samsung documents that its lawyers obtained once the lawsuit was filed. Many of the documents shown in court Tuesday reported that Samsung designers repeatedly referred to the iPhone when discussing features of their own handsets.

Samsung's lawyers had their own internal documents from Apple, including a 2010 email from the late Apple founder Steve Jobs that mentioned a "2011 Holy War" against Android. The email noted areas such as speech and cloud syncing of user data where Apple was falling behind Android.

The case is docketed as 12-00630, Apple v. Samsung Electronics et al, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

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