Apple-Samsung trial: The end is nigh

:SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With both sides now out
of time, the end to the trial between two of
the biggest companies in tech draws ever
nearer to a close.
Apple and Samsung today both ran through
the last few hours -- or in Samsung's case,
just minutes -- of their allotted 25 hours
for rebuttals and clarifications.
Still ahead are closing arguments in which
the two companies get their last chance to
convince a jury of nine that the other
company is infringing on its technology. A
decision in either direction could result in
millions -- even billions -- of dollars in
damages, as well as potential sales bans
on infringing products.
In Apple's case, the company wants $2.5
billion in damages from Samsung for
allegedly copying the look and feel of the
iPhone and the iPad, as well as infringing
on its software features and potentially
confusing customers. Samsung wants
around $519 million from Apple for
infringements to five of its patents on
Apple's portable devices like the iPhone,
iPad and iPod Touch.
Apple was largely in control of the final
day of evidence, and managed to run
through 11 of its own witnesses (including
video depositions) to rebut the arguments
made by Samsung during its half of the
trial. Samsung, meanwhile, brought back a
trio of its own witnesses.
At times, the pace was so fast that
witnesses were sworn in and even began
testimony before the last witness had
made it through the wooden gates leading
onto the court floor.
Where Apple spent considerable time
during its offensive focusing on design,
today its team largely focused on
discrediting Samsung's wireless patents.
That included bringing out an economics
professor and former antitrust expert with
the U.S. Department of Justice to make the
case that Samsung was monopolizing its
technology with the two patents.
Samsung was in no position to fight back.
It began the day with just 46 minutes to
use compared to Apple's nearly four hours.
Yesterday U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh told
Samsung it couldn't get any extensions,
since it had made a "strategic decision" to
burn up its time cross-examining Apple's
Complete coverage: Apple vs.
Samsung, a battle over billions
Despite the rapid pace, the general mood
of the court contained less of the general
animosity and tension of the past three
weeks. There was frequently laughter, as
sides rushed through testimony.
"We crossed the finish line," Samsung
attorney Kevin Johnson said with some
happy exhaustion as the company finished
with its last witness.
Standing in the way of next week's closing
arguments are some 100 pages of jury
instructions, which both sides have yet to
agree on. Earlier in the day, judge Koh
noted that there were still 70 disputed
points in the document, which she
estimated will take her an hour and a half
to read.
There's still a remote possibility that the
two companies will settle. This week, Koh
told both companies that their CEOs
needed to meet one more time by phone
to talk it out, warning that there would be
"risks for both sides."
"I am pathologically optimistic that this is
going to settle," she said.

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