Apple, Samsung trade barbs as $2.5b patent trial opens

Apple, Samsung trade barbs as $2.5b patent trial opens
Apple attorney Harold McElhinny delivers opening statement in this courtroom sketch during the Apple Inc vs Samsung Electronics Co Ltd case.

SAN JOSE, United States - Lawyers for Apple and Samsung exchanged barbs as a major new patent trial opened Tuesday, debating the role of a company not even part of the case - Google.

Apple's legal team vowed to prove that Samsung flagrantly copied iPhone features and should pay more than US$2 billion (S$2.5 billion) in damages, as the two smartphone giants squared off anew in a California courtroom.

Apple attorney Harold McElhinny opened his presentation with a video showing legendary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs introducing the first iPhone in 2007.

By putting computing power in smartphones powered by fun software and easy-to-use touch-screens, Apple transformed the market, sending Samsung onto its heels, according to McElhinny.

The attorney told jurors in his opening statement that they would see internal Samsung documents and messages showing that the company felt it was suffering "a crisis of design" with the difference between its devices and the smartphone "a difference between Heaven and Earth."

Apple said evidence will show that the South Korean electronics giant sold more than 37 million infringing smartphones and tablets in the United States.

California-based Apple would have demanded royalties of about $40 per device to license the patented technology to Samsung, according to McElhinny.

The overall amount being sought by Apple in damages from Samsung will top $2 billion, the lawyer explained.

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