Apple, Samsung to face off in patent battle in US court

Apple Inc, the technology giant, and Samsung, the world's largest consumer electronics company, will face off today in a patent battle in a California court in the fight for supremacy in the $220 billion global smartphone and tablet market.

In one of the biggest patent trials, both companies have accused each other of intellectual property infringement, which could ultimately cost one or both companies billions of dollars if the jury finds one or both guilty.

Apple kicks off the battle with an advantage since the court is based at its home turf in California, where it employs thousands of people, generates million of dollars in revenue for the state and more importantly - the 10-member jury will be from the nearby area of its headquarter in Silicon Valley.

Samsung goes into the trial already on the back foot since a California court judge Lucy Koh last month ceded to Apple's request of temporarily halting sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the US market.

Koh observed that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looked a lot similar "in the eyes of the ordinary observer" to an Apple patent and "virtually indistinguishable" from Apple's iPad and iPad 2.

After the ruling, the Cuprtino, California-based company said, "Samsung must play by the rules. It must invent its own stuff. Its flagrant copying and massive infringement must stop."

Seoul, South Korea-based Samsung is the world's largest seller of smartphones and Apple a distant second as per shipments made in second quarter, while the reverse is the tablet market.

According to London-based Strategy Analytics' estimates, Samsung shipped 50.5 million smartphones, and increased its market share from 30.6 per cent in the first quarter to 34.6 in the second quarter ended June, while Apple's market share dropped from 24.1 per cent to 17.8 per cent in the same period.