Apple-Samsung patent trial: a guide to the key issues

The decision is going to make an enormous difference, and will be heard around the world. The two companies between them control about half of the world’s smartphone market; Samsung has more than half of the Android smartphone market; the two collect the majority of the profits and revenues in the smartphone market; Apple is Samsung’s largest customer, and Samsung is Apple’s largest supplier.

This is an unusual case because it’s not one-way traffic. Apple is accusing Samsung of violating patents on how a number of its phones work, and also of creating products intentionally designed to look like the iPhone and iPad so as to tempt buyers into thinking they’re the same thing.

But Samsung is accusing Apple of infringing a number of its patents, particularly relating to 3G (“UMTS”) standard which is used in the US and Europe on millions of phones by using the technology without a licence.

OK. Deep breath. Here’s how to work through the list.