The patent battle between Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung Electronics got off to a start on Monday with the selection of the jury which included an insurance agent, an unemployed video gaming aficionado and an AT&T project manager.
The two companies, which occupy the top two slots in the smartphone segment, are locked in a patent violations battle that could see billions of dollars in payouts after judgement is passed. The trial is expected to start on Tuesday with the respective lawyers making their opening comments.
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Apple started the ball rolling last year when it accused Samsung of slavishly copy the designs of its iPhones and iPads for its Galaxy series of phones that catapulted the Korean company to the No.1 spot in smartphones sales.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh spent Monday with the twn jurors, who have been given the task of deciding the fate of the two companies.
The court battle has already drawn worldwide media attention as the long lines outside the courthouse and the milling crowds showed. Apart from the media, analysts and lawyers have also been attracted by the high-stakes battle, which is expected to have a lot of ramification for the tech industry.
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The trial has the potential to result in a ban on U.S. sales of Samsung Galaxy phones in addition to payout in damages to Apple.
The tech industry, which jealously guards its intellectual property rights, has been the scene of several ongoing legal battles - with companies asserting their rights to certain technologies. Microsoft and Motorola Mobility unit have been engaged in a fight over copyright violations of File Allocation Tables or FAT.
Other major players in the sector have also been drawn into the battle due to their association with the principals. Google, for instance is a supporting actor since Samsung's smartphones are powered by its Android operating system.
Shares of AAPL are up over 1% to $602 in pre-market session.