I said it in my last newsletter. The technology that we tote around in our pockets is so extraordinary. But instead of waxing poetic for the next few minutes on how much I love my iPhone, I’m going to inform you on what’s going on.

Apple and Samsung are locking horns in court regarding infringement claims related to their smart phones. The trail started Monday, after much anticipation, and has been quite the source of entertainment for techies.

Let me brief you on the claims, and what’s at stake.

Here’s the list of patents that Apple claims Samsung infringed.

  • US Patent D618,677: The front speaker slot, uncluttered front face, display borders and the edge-to-edge glass of a smartphone.
  • US Patent D593,087: The home button, uncluttered front face, rounded corners and the front edge border of a smartphone.
  • US Patent D604,305: The general grid layout for icons, and a dock of separate icons at the bottom of a mobile device display.
  • US Patent D504,889: The thin bezel, outer edge border, rounded corners, edge-to-edge front glass, and minimalist aesthetics on the front, sides and back of a tablet.
  • US Patent 7,469,381: This is the famous iOS “scrollback” or “rubberbanding” patent, where a background texture is displayed when you scroll beyond the edge of a document or webpage.
  • US Patent 7,844,915: Determining when a user is using one finger to scroll versus two or more fingers to zoom.
  • US Patent 7,864,163: Gesturing (tapping) to zoom on a screen area with multiple content areas displayed.

Apple is claiming that 25 Samsung products infringe upon these patents including the the Galaxy S, S II, Epic 4G, Captivate, Vibrant, Infuse 4G, Droid Charge, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

And here’s the list of patents Samsung claims Apple infringed.

  • Two really technical sounding patents relating to 3G.
  • US Patent 7,577,460: Covers a method of transmitting emails, with and without embedded images, from a mobile phone with a built-in camera.
  • US Patent 7,456,893: Covers switching between photo and image display modes. When the user switches back             to display mode the most recent image viewed before the mode switch is shown (e.g., rather than the photo taken).
  • US Patent 7,698,711: Covers selecting an “MP3 mode” on a mobile device and playing music in the background while performing other multi-tasking functions, with the display continuing to indicate that music is being played in the background.      

Samsung is claiming that the iPhone, iPad, and all their iterations are in violation of their patents.

If Apple had its way, it would be awarded $2.525 billion (with a “b”) dollars, that’s 500 million dollars of Apple’s lost profits, and 2 billion dollars worth of Samsung profits related to the patents in question. Samsung claims that its profits were actually $28,452. It’s amusing to how they throw numbers around that way.

Already, three days into the trail, there has been lots of interesting happenings: the swapping of jurors; Apple claiming that Samsung said ‘Apple is easy to copy’ while Samsung claims that Apple’s patents are invalid; Samsung sending rejected evidence to the media; and the releasing of Apple prototypes.

With 25-hours of allotted testimony time, this trial is going to go on for quite some time, and I honestly don’t know how it’s going to end.