Aug. 22, 2012 -- After a three week trial, the future of two of the world's largest technology companies now sit in the hands of a jury. Apple and Samsung spent two days delivering closing arguments in their giant intellectual property battle before the case was finally handed over to ten jurors on Tuesday.
Apple sued Samsung last year for copying the essential features of its iPad and iPhone. Samsung responded with a countersuit. Apple is seeking over $2 billion in damages and Samsung just over $500 million. If Samsung is found guilty of patent infringement, some of its products could be banned in the U.S.
"Samsung's designs are so similar to the Apple designs that they are likely to cause Apple's designs to be viewed as less unique in the marketplace," said attorney Harold McElhinny during Apple's closing argument to the jurors.
Over the last couple of weeks Apple has argued that Samsung copied numerous aspects of its smartphone and tablet designs, including touch screen gestures, icon design, and overall hardware aesthetic. In the process, Apple has revealed secrets about the design of its products, including never-before-seen prototypes of iPhones and iPads.
Samsung's closing argument listed ways its products are different from Apple's. "Apple [is trying] to prevent its largest competitor from giving consumers what they want: smartphones with big screens," Samsung's attorney, Charles Verhoeven, said in the courtroom.
Samsung and Apple have refused to settle over the last couple of months. Apple and Samsung CEOs even met late last week, but couldn't come to an agreement. With so much at stake, Judge Lucy Koh urged the two companies to settle. She has grown increasingly frustrated; at one point in the case she even asked Apple's lawyers if they were "smoking crack" after they presented a 75-page briefing.
The jury must come to a unanimous verdict. Jurors were given a 109-page document with instructions about the case. Beyond the millions or billions of dollars on the table, Samsung could face an injunction against selling its products in the U.S. if the jury finds Samsung guilty of patent infringement. Judge Koh banned sales of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus last month while the case was being fought.
"If you find that Apple has suffered injury to its business or property, you must determine whether Apple has proven that it is entitled to damages for such injury," the jurors' instructions say in closing. "The amount of any such damages is the amount of damages that Apple has proven at trial with reasonable certainty."