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.

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


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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