Epic patent trial over iPhone technology wraps up

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SAN JOSE, CALIF. (AP) - A lawyer for Apple said Tuesday that Samsung was having a “crisis of design” after the launch of the iPhone, and executives with the South Korean company were determined to illegally cash in on the success of the revolutionary device.

Samsung’s lawyer countered that the technology giant was simply and legally giving consumers what they want: Smart phones with big screens.

The competing claims came during closing arguments at the multibillion-dollar patent trial involving the world’s biggest smartphone companies, after last-minute talks between chief executives failed to resolve the dispute.

Lawyers finished closing arguments late in the day, and jury deliberations were expected to begin Wednesday.

Apple Corp. argues that Samsung Electronics Co. should pay the Cupertino-based company $2.5 billion for ripping off its iPhone and iPad technology when it marketed competing devices.

Samsung has sold 22.7 million smartphones and tablets using stolen _ “infringed” in legalese _ Apple technology since June 2010 on sales of $8.16 billion, Apple’s lead attorney, Harold McElhinny told jurors Tuesday.

“The damages in this case should be large because the infringement has been massive,” he said.

McElhinny said Apple confronted Samsung about the alleged copying and sought a resolution before filing its lawsuit last year.

“Instead of doing the right thing, Samsung decided to gin up claims of its own,” McElhinny said of Samsung’s counter claim seeking $399 million from Apple for allegedly using Samsung technology in making the iconic iPhone and iPad.

Apple and Samsung combined account for more than half of global smartphone sales. Apple is also demanding that Samsung pull its most popular cellphones and computer tablets from the U.S. market.

Apple is asking what it is not entitled to,” Samsung’s lawyer Charles Verhoeven said during his closing arguments. “Rather than competing in the marketplace, Apple is seeking an edge in the courtroom.”

Verhoeven argued that the state of technology has led most phone makers to design simple-to-use products with large, rounded rectangular faces. He conceded that Apple makes great products but said it doesn’t have a monopoly on the design it claims it created.

“There is nothing nefarious about this, it’s the way technology has evolved,” he said, showing jurors a slide of a Best Buy advertisement with photos of similar looking phones made by several different companies. “It’s not against the law in this country to be inspired by your competition.”

Verhoeven implored jurors to reject Apple’s claims as a way to preserve competition in the United States for smartphones and computer tabs. He said a verdict in Apple’s favor could reverberate throughout the marketplace.

“Consumers deserve a choice,” the lawyer argued.

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