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Business & Technology

March 31, 2014

Jury selection begins in Apple-Samsung case

(Continued)

SAN JOSE, Calif. —

In the current case, Apple claims Samsung stole a tap-from-search technology that allows someone searching for a telephone number or address on the Web to tap on the results to call the number or put the address into a map. In addition, Apple says Samsung copied "Slide to Unlock," which allows users to swipe the face of their smartphone to use it.

Samsung countered that Apple is stealing a wireless technology system that speeds up sending and receiving data.

The most attention-grabbing claim in the case is Apple's demand that Samsung pay a $40 royalty for each Samsung device running software allegedly conceived by Apple. The figure is more than five times more than the amount sought in the previous trial and well above other precedents between smartphone companies.

If Apple prevails in the case, the cost to Samsung could reach $2 billion. Apple's costs, if it loses the litigation, are expected to be about $6 million. The costs could be passed on to consumers, experts said.

"You rarely get from the jury what you ask for, so companies aim high," said German patent analyst Florian Mueller. "But in my opinion this is so far above a reasonable level the judge should not have allowed it."

The problem, he said, is that each smartphone has thousands of patented ideas in it; Apple is challenging just five.

Throughout the three years of litigation, Samsung's market share has grown. One of every three smartphones sold last year was a Samsung, now the market leader. Apple, with a typically higher price, was second, with about 15 percent of the global market.

Apple claims the following Samsung products now infringe on Apple patents: Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Galaxy SII, Galaxy SII Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy SII Skyrocket, Galaxy SIII, Galaxy Tab II 10.1 and Stratosphere.

Samsung claims the following Apple products infringe on Samsung patents: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad mini, iPod touch (fifth generation), iPod touch (fourth generation) and MacBook Pro.

With the San Jose federal courtroom just a 15-minute drive from Apple's Cupertino headquarters, even jury selection can be difficult. In the previous case, several prospective jurors were dismissed because of their ties to the company.

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