Battle Of The Tech Titans

Apple vs. Samsung. The “Patent Trial of the Century” heats up. We’ll look at what’s at stake.

 A Samsung Tablet-PC "Galaxy Tab 10.1" and an Apple iPad. (AP)

A Samsung Tablet-PC “Galaxy Tab 10.1” and an Apple iPad. (AP)

How much of the design of the world can you patent?  Can you own?  That question is big right now in a courtroom in California.  Mighty Apple is up against mighty Samsung in the “patent trial of the century” over the design of smartphones and computer tablets.

Apple says it designed the iPhone, iPad world we live in, and Samsung ripped it off.  Samsung says come off it – what’s a smartphone supposed to look like?   The corporate stakes are sky-high.  So is the intellectual question.  How much of the world can you patent?

This hour, On Point:  Apple versus Samsung over the shape of the digital world.

-Tom Ashbrook


Christina Bonnington,  staff writer for Wired’s Gadget Lab blog, covering Apple, Microsoft and other tech issues.

Paul Barrettassistant managing editor and senior writer at Bloomberg Businessweek. You can find his stories on the Apple Samsung fight here, here, and here.

Kevin Rivette, a founder and partner of the Palo Alto office of 3LP Advisors. He is the former vice president of IP Strategy for IBM and the author of Rembrandts in the Attic: Unlocking the Hidden Value of Patents.

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg “Copycat or competitor? A U.S. jury’s choice of descriptor for Samsung Electronics will determine whether Apple  defeats its Korean rival in the global patent war’s biggest battle yet. For two years, Apple has fought with other mobile device makers in courts on four continents.”

Mashable “For many, it’s a simple patent case that will be won or lost based on the evidence of inspiration. Yet what’s at stake is more than the $2.5 billion Apple wants from Samsung’s hide — it’s the future of innovation, and maybe even the very definition of an idea.”

PC World “Patent litigation has become standard business practice in the tech world, and no rivalry demonstrates that better than Apple and Samsung. The ongoing trial between the two smartphone and tablet leaders is the poster child for all that is wrong with tech patents.”


Check out these charts from the trial, outlining each company’s claims about their tech development.

This graphic from Apple shows the design changes that came in the wake of the release of the iPhone.

This graphic from Apple shows the design changes that came in the wake of the release of the iPhone.

This drawing from Samsung shows its version of the evolution of the mobile phone.

This drawing from Samsung shows its version of the evolution of the mobile phone.

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