Apple v. Samsung patent war pits two legal stars

“As Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. dig in for weeks of jostling in a federal courtroom here, the contrasting personalities and tactics of their head lawyers are adding to the drama,” Jessica E. Vascellaro and Ashby Jones report for The Wall Street Journal.

“On one side is 65-year-old veteran Harold McElhinny, who represents Apple and came of age well before the dot-com boom. He has been involved in a number of high-stakes intellectual property cases, including Fujitsu Ltd.’s fight against International Business Machines Inc. in the 1990s and Pioneer Corp.’s battle against Samsung’s television subsidiary in the past decade,” Vascellaro and Jones report. “Mr. McElhinny, who works in the San Francisco office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, is a storyteller who portrays himself to jurors as a straight shooter… Apple is trying to convince a jury that Samsung ripped off its iPhone and iPad designs, and block Samsung’s smartphones from stores.”

“Defending Samsung is 49-year-old Charles Verhoeven, an Iowa native who is soft-spoken and intense. He gravitated to patent cases in the mid- 1990s as an associate at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, where he is a partner,” Vascellaro and Jones report. “Within the clubby Silicon Valley intellectual-property bar, Mr. Verhoeven is widely seen as an emerging star—one that keeps a very full docket. The San Francisco-based lawyer has led much of the work in the U.S. for the makers of Android-based smartphones in their battles against Apple.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, so he also gravitates to criminals.

I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.Steve Jobs

Vascellaro and Jones report, “After Mr. McElhinny asserted that Samsung decided “at the highest corporate level” to copy the iPhone, Mr. Verhoeven told the nine jurors not to be swayed by Apple’s success and labeling of Samsung as a ‘copyist.’ His rhetoric was harsher than his opponent’s, calling some Apple moves ‘unfair’ and painting it as the aggressor, saying ‘Samsung isn’t in the habit of suing its business partners.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Samsung doesn’t sue anyone for copying them because any company worth its salt wouldn’t bother copying Samsung’s crap, even if they had original industrial designs or any software of value. Samsung Electronics is nothing more than a knockoff peddler led by a convict.

Vascellaro and Jones report, “The fight between the longtime litigators will resume with a third day of proceedings Friday. They will face particular pressure in this case, one of a slew of battles between Apple and othera number ofne makers drawing intense interest from media, lawyers and technology companies around the world.”

MacDailyNews Take: If McElhinny can’t prove Apple was blatantly ripped off and slavishly copied by Samsung, dude needs to retire. No pressure, Harry.

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

Related articles:
Apple to Samsung: Do not reveal iPad, iPhone sales data – August 3, 2012
Apple v. Samsung: Meet Apple’s next 7 witnesses – August 3, 2012
Judge Koh on Samsung’s quest to use ’2001: A Space Odyssey’ as ‘evidence’ against Apple: Nope – August 2, 2012
Apple asks Judge Koh to rule in its favor after Samsung’s excluded evidence leak – August 2, 2012
Apple says it will seek sanctions over Samsung’s press release of excluded evidence – August 2, 2012
The 125-year-old U.S. patent law that could cost Samsung $2 billion for slavishly copying Apple’s designs – August 1, 2012
Samsung defends decision to share excluded evidence with media – August 1, 2012
Apple says jury should learn that Samsung destroyed evidence – August 1, 2012
Samsung, after ‘begging’ to get Sony into Apple patent trial, flouts judge and releases ‘excluded evidence’ anyway – July 31, 2012
Apple v. Samsung Live Blog: Trial opens with one juror gone, Samsung begging – July 31, 2012
Apple attorney: Instead of innovating, Samsung chose to copy iPhone and iPad – July 31, 2012
Apple aims for total war, salted earth in Samsung patent infringement fight – July 31, 2012
Apple-Samsung jury picked to decide U.S. patent trial; Google engineer fails to make final cut – July 30, 2012


  1. I wonder if it’s allowed that Apple bring up the fact that Samsung’s chairman has been previously convicted of bribing influential prosecutors, judges, and political figures in South Korea. I’d like to see the expressions on the juror’s faces when they hear that.

    Come to think of it, some of them might start seeing dollar signs.

  2. Samsung’s legal “stars” have no fewer than 4 court sanctions against them on this case alone, the last for sending evidence specifically excluded by Judge Koh to the tech press for publication.

    Samsung’s courtroom conduct is yet another example of how shameless a company they are. I hope Koh’s jury burns those scumbags to the ground.

    1. Hold on a minute… when did a defendant’s character, and the people who defend them, become synonymous? Worse still, when did a lawyer, and their courtroom antics, become the face of the company they represent?

      That’s an interesting assumption you’re pursuing there. So you’re saying, Samsung and the law firm that represents them, have strikingly similar morals and ethical boundaries and principles? And from that you extrapolate Samsung’s lawyers’ histrionics are a result of theatrical cues taken from the businessmen at Samsung?

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest Samsung, against the advice of their law firm, released material to the media because they would not be denied in a court of public opinion. This trial is not going to take the shape of a pill that is easily swallowed.

      Courtroom antics aside, America is in a skirmish with Korea over intellectual property rights and with the hysterics coming out of the NSA yesterday, the decisions made in this trial will take on greater meaning in the months to come.

      Regardless of the outcome, decisions are butterflies to the other side of the world that can tip economies of scale by an order of magnitude.

      Samsung, and many companies like them, see themselves as City/State domains wherein policy keeps their citizens in line. The citizen’s allegiance is to that policy, the law is secondary. Want proof?

      Living abroad imparts an interesting perspective on America. When you’re in harms way, you want to be cradled by her at once. But when you’re having fun and don’t miss it, America can be seen through in a whole other light.

      I’ll tell you what it’s like. It’s like having a really smart professor tell you the why and how a book was written and oftentimes is, better than the story itself.

      Forget about courtroom diplomacy, we need foreign policy for intellectual property.

      Asia has always copied what it couldn’t own outright and since they don’t want Mel Gibson, they’ll settle for his films. Every major movie star on the planet is doing alcohol and cigarette commercials in foreign markets. Many actors even sell the host country’s own GDP.

      The point is, this is a ho-hum moment for everyone who could give a shit less about rights, which is about three-fourths the country.

      1. Interesting points. My point is that Samsung and their legal team has been sanctioned numerous times by the judge in this particular case.

        The most recent of these sanctions was due to action authorized by John Quinn of Samsung’s legal team, so yes, it does appear that counsel for the defense is enabling the antics of their clients.

          1. “Worse still, when did a lawyer, and their courtroom antics, become the face of the company they represent?”

            Apparently, you didn’t. At least my “out loud” didn’t require a TL/DR summary.

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