Apple v. Samsung timeline: The guide to what's happening

Apple v. Samsung timeline: The guide to what's happening

Summary: Legal jargon aside, what is actually going on in the high-profile Apple v. Samsung case, and how did it start? Let's take a look at the timeline.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Apple, Samsung
44

November 2011:

Samsung's victory against Apple is announced. An Australian federal appeals court unanimously chose to lift the preliminary sales injunction which banned the sale of the Galaxy tablet.

However, a stay was also one of the conditions, which prevented the company from selling the product until 2 December 2011, 4 p.m. local time. 

The physical design of the tablet also changed in order to comply with requests from Apple's legal team after the sales ban issued by the court in Germany

December 2011:

Apple's legal requests to block Samsung from selling certain 4G-enabled products to consumers based in the United States fail.

March 2012:

We come back to the original agreement between Samsung and Apple concerning the handover of mobile device models for inspection. The iPhone maker accuses its South-Korean rival of "failing to comply" with the order set against them as part of the deal, and the "partial compliance" was due to not handing over everything that was agreed.

Only one device that allegedly infringed on Apple's patents was handed over with its source code, rather than all of them.

The filing was submitted to a San Jose, California federal court -- where we find ourselves now. 

April 2012:

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who has presided over a number of the Apple v. Samsung cases, orders the two sides to talk. It seems cooler heads want to prevail by now, with settlement talk dates set for May 21--22 in San Francisco, with Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero acting as moderator.

The nature of the talks was deemed "voluntary".

Apple's chief executive Tim Cook said during Apple's Q1 earnings call:

"I would highly prefer to settle than to battle. But it's important that Apple not become the developer for the world. But the key thing is that it's very important that Apple not become the developer for the world. We need people to invent their own stuff."

Agreeable or not? AllThingsD's John Paczkowski had an interesting point to make:

"If Samsung is willing to concede to that, then these two days of court-ordered settlement talks ought to go quite smoothly. But that seems unlikely, which means this battle will probably roll on for a good long time."

May 2012:

Apple was given the go-ahead to seek a sales injunction on Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, to see the product banned from U.S. stores after failing in December. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit also said a sales ban should be imposed until a trial can be held.

Apple sought the ban because "each day that Samsung continues to sell its infringing Tab 10.1 causes additional harm to Apple through design dilution, lost sales, lost market share, and lost future sales of tag-along products," according to a court filing.

This ruling was given just a week before settlement talks were due to begin... 

Well, that didn't go well. Unsurprising when Apple was given permission to steam ahead with the U.S. sales ban. A lengthy and costly trial becomes the final option, and the trial date is set for July 30. 

June 2012:

Following the appeals court ruling, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh had to reconsider the preliminary sales injunction against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Koh ruled that Apple's request to prevent Galaxy Tab sales in the U.S. would have to wait for court procedures to be completed. A higher appeals court was required to formally cede jurisdiction back to her before the request could be granted.

The motion was denied

July 2012:

Kicking off in San Jose, Calif., a few miles away from Apple and Google's headquarters, the dispute between the two rival firms was estimated to take a minimum of four weeks to resolve.

10 individuals, based in Santa Clara, Calif., were chosen for the jury from a pool of 74. The jury included a social worker, a systems engineer, an AT&T supervisor, a store operations manager, a city worker for Gilroy, a benefits and payroll manager, and an unemployed video gamer. 

On 18 July, a U.K. judge ruled that Apple must publicize a notice on both its U.K. website and in British newspapers stating that Samsung did not copy the iPad's design -- and the notice has to be left on its website for six months. 

The judge said:

"Samsung products are very thin, almost insubstantial members of that family with unusual details on the back. They do not have the same understated and extreme simplicity which is possessed by the Apple design. They are not as cool."

A week after, Apple was granted a reprieve on the adverts. A London court offered the corporation breathing space, so Apple has time to launch an appeal in October. 

A few days before the trial began, the late co-founder Steve Jobs' commented on Android are deemed "irrelevant" in court, much to Samsung's chagrin. 

On the 22 July, the trial officially begins, marking what is now three months of hearings over the patent infringement case.

After months of directional hearings, evidence submission and exclusion, jury re-shuffling and testimony seeking, it's about to kick off.

In the meantime, Apple releases a new iPad and iPhone, and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 and Galaxy S III enter the marketplace properly.

Through the trial, an odd business triangle appears. Apple says Samsung copied its designs, but Samsung counter-claims saying that the rival firm ripped off Sony -- internal emails that may enforce this being excluded from court.

Potentially in rebellion, some of the evidence Samsung wanted to include in the trial that was excluded is released to the press, including data on its F700 smartphone design, which predates the iPhone. Samsung said it was following the rules

Reaching the end of July, Koh is reported as "livid" because of Samsung's disclosure to the media. This, naturally, made her deaf to the pleas of Samsung lawyer John Quinn, who threw himself to the court's mercy to try and have the evidence accepted, saying:

"In 36 years, I've never begged the court. I'm begging the court now. What's the point in having a trial?"

Apple was not best pleased, and its counsel William Lee said the company would file an "emergency motion for sanctions" as well as "other relief that may be appropriate." 

This was denied by Koh. The judge said:

"Some of these objections are ridiculous, they're five paragraphs long. If you're going to do that messy objection, you're going to do it in front of the jury, and the time clock is going to be ticking. I will not let any theatrics or sideshows distract us from what we're here to do, which is to fairly and timely decide this case."

Hearings got underway on the 23rd. According to the Federal Court online portal, the trial's complex nature is set to run its course in the last week of February -- a hearing scheduled for every day -- until 17 May 2013.

Next: August 2012 .. until now

 

 

Topics: Apple, Samsung

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

44 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Good read

    Thanks for putting all those details (and links) together in one handy place!
    SmokeNMirrors
  • Here's the real timeline

    1. Apple builds revolutionary phone and makes a bundle.
    2. Competitors build a competing phone and sell it for less.
    3. Competitors build better phones and sell it for less.
    4. Apple loses the market they created (sound familiar?) and goes to court in an effort to compete (again sound familiar?)
    ye
    • are you suggesting

      that competition is a bad thing?
      btw, whether Apple really built a revolutionary phone from scratch or capitalized and improved the already existing phones and electronic organizers is a matter of debate.
      pupkin_z
      • I am suggesting no such thing.

        "are you suggesting that competition is a bad thing?"
        ye
    • #3 is not working, though

      At all stages starting from original iPhone competitor could not offer "better" phones. In some aspects those were better, in the others -- worse. Even now iPhone 4S is no worse or better than competition in few key areas: photo quality (thanks to unique five lens system that prevents blurring near to the corners), graphic performance (only now competitors catched up with SGS-543MP2 co-processor). Apple's device also offers ever perfect looks since it is steel and hardened glass all around, no cheapo-feeling scratch-prone plastics anywhere (as a downside, though, the device is twice more vulnerable if it falls on hard floors).
      DDERSSS
      • I have direct experience with what appears in the paranthesis

        Someone knocked my iPhone onto a rock which put three small chips in the screen which then turned into a crack over night. iPhone is quite fragile. After returning to my Android phone I realized how much time I spent babysitting my iPhone compared to the Android phone.
        ye
    • or perhaps the real timeline

      1. Bunch of companies build the technology, necessary for for successful cell phones to be produced (Moto, Samsung, Nokia, etc.)
      2. Apple comes and scoops all those technologies without (yet) paying a dime
      3. Apple builds on top of existing designs and creates the best marketed toy in the world and gets a very nice marketshare
      4. People start realizing that iPhones are like Macs- nice, but not feature rich and quite overpriced. Apple loses shares.
      5. Apple cries 'Wolf' and run to their mommy (the courts), complaining someone ate their lunch.
      (In the meantime Apple and MS forge probably illegal cartel like "gentlemen" agreement)
      kirovs@...
      • More true

        Apple just steals tech from everyone without licencing it. They have always been in licensing battles with other companies because they for some reason believe that they dont need to license tech like everyone else.
        Jimster480
        • Apple paid for all of technology via communication chip producers which ...

          ... have licenses paid.

          So this whole "everyone invented and Apple stole" thing is ignorant nonsense.
          DDERSSS
          • You are the ignorant

            Samsung had an agreement with Qualcomm not to sue its customers. This agreement was dissolved after Apple sued Samsung.
            In many cases licenses are not transferable which is the case with Apple. Apple are not even contesting the fact they are violating the patents. They are just claiming the right to pay next to nothing when they choose to do so.
            In the case of Motorola, they were found guilty of infringing in the Netherlands. So far it is only Apple who has been found by a court of law to violate patents.
            kirovs@...
          • You are ignorant; those licenses do not need to be transferred

            Just read court papers. For example, Samsung requires license fees for patents that only used and Intel's chip, for which Samsung already got paid. So there is no perspective there for Samsung.
            DDERSSS
          • Tell it to the court in Netherlands

            The sentence was read. You are wrong.
            kirovs@...
          • You are ignorant; those licenses do not need to be transferred

            Just read court papers. For example, Samsung requires license fees for patents that only used and Intel's chip, for which Samsung already got paid. So there is no perspective there for Samsung.
            DDERSSS
    • @ye

      "3. Competitors build better phones and sell it for less."

      The better phones part is subjective.
      athynz
      • No

        Top Android phones are factually superior to iPhones in almost every way.
        Jimster480
    • #2.

      Competitor builds an exact copy using Apple's iPhone as a guide and sell it for less. Not expecting Apple to take them to court. Oops.

      You are free to remain ignorant to the facts. It's your life. Samsung is ripe with corruption and has shown similar behavior in the past, namely the BlackJack.
      roadrash1964
      • Interesting

        Since the iPhone was based on Sony designs, and Samsung did the R&D for all the Apple chips, and sold Apple their memory for the devices (most of the components in the iPhone are Samsung Engineered and Manufactured). But now you say they copied Apple? So they copied apple by using their OWN TECHNOLOGY that THEY DEVELOPED? Interesting Theory you have there.
        Jimster480
        • Silly argument! Tired of reading it

          Flour + eggs + sugar does not = cake. Apple has the recipe, everyone else copies (poorly). Whether they develop the components is irrelevant. A box of parts is not a phone.
          Scott HB
          • Who else has patents on cakes ...

            That just proves to me how crazy this lawsuit is really. Why doesn't Apple use something other than 3g? Maybe they should either not have those patents or have to use FRAND. With an emphasis on fair and reasonable.
            dogarner
    • That is somewhat true

      When the original iPhone came out there wasn't much like it at the time. Windows mobile was still King along with blackberry. But after Android went public (it was actually in development from before the time iOS was) things started to go downhill.
      Jimster480