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Last updated at 17:51 BST, Thursday, 02 August 2012

Battle of the phones


2 August 2012

A multi-billion dollar court case between the world's two biggest technology companies has begun in California with Apple accusing Samsung of copying its iPhone and iPad. Samsung denies the allegation and has made counter-claims that Apple had copied technology. The two companies have launched legal cases against each other around the world.


Alastair Leithead

A shop assistant puts the Samsung Galaxy phone on display

Which company will win the case?


Click to hear the report


The lawyer representing Apple opened the case by showing slides of Samsung phones from 2006 and comparing them to 2010 models, which were produced after the release of the iPhone. He highlighted their similarities and said, "it's easier to copy than to innovate," claiming Samsung's own internal documents show the South Korean company made the decision to copy the iPhone.

Apple is demanding $2.5bn in damages. Samsung denies the charges - the company's lawyers were also preparing opening statements for the jury of seven men and two women, who will have to come to terms with the complexities of patent law.

The case is being heard by a federal court in San Jose and is expected to last four weeks. The world's two biggest technology companies have been challenging each other on legal patent issues in a variety of different countries as they compete in the fast-growing mobile market. The outcome of the case could have a big impact on the sale of Samsung devices in the US if Apple wins and could affect the price of Apple products if the court rules in Samsung's favour.


Click to hear the vocabulary



speaking on behalf of


almost identical features


develop or improve ideas


financial compensation

to come to terms with

to understand fully


complicated details


competing or fighting (legally)


rapidly expanding

a big impact

a huge effect

(in) favour (of)

advantage (or in support of)