Samsung Objects to ‘Apple v. Samsung,’ Thinks Patent Trial Should Be Called ‘Samsung v. Apple’

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 1 2012 6:29 PM

Samsung Objects to ‘Apple v. Samsung,’ Thinks Patent Trial Should Be Called ‘Samsung v. Apple’

the trial formerly known as apple v. samsung
The trial formerly known as Apple v. Samsung

Ina Fried / AllThingsD

The world’s two largest smartphone makers are slugging it out in court this week over a slew of alleged patent infringements. With $2.5 billion in damages and the future of Samsung’s product line at stake, no perceived injustice is going unchallenged—not even the name of the trial. According to AllThingsD’s Ina Fried, Samsung’s lawyers thought it unfair that their firm was being labeled the defendant, given that it is also countersuing Apple. They asked to be allowed to switch seats with their Cupertino-based rivals while they were presenting their claims. That, the company asserted, would "ensure that the jury does not draw any improper inference based on disparate treatment of the parties with respect to their positions in the courtroom.”

Judge Lucy Koh denied the musical-chairs request, but she did offer one concession: No longer would the case be referred to exclusively as “Apple v. Samsung.” The sign outside the courtroom was adjusted accordingly, so that it now also says “Samsung v. Apple.” (See Fried’s photo above, posted here with her permission.) 

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With the naming issue resolved, the jury can now move on to drawing improper inferences about the substance of the case.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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