Some of the functions are widely used in Android phones, so an Apple victory could force changes to Google's Android operating system or give Apple a launch pad for further lawsuits.
At a higher level, the case and others like it have highlighted what many feel are problems with the U.S. patent system. Many feel that patents issued in recent years are often too broad or are being abused by holders to block competitors from entering a market.
These cases have resulted in a redirection of corporate investment with major companies spending more money on litigation, said Cheryl Milone, chairman and founder of Article One Partners, an online patent validation community.
"While worldwide brands and small companies alike view their own companies' patents as having a high quality level, there is a widespread belief that there are many low quality patents causing a thicket. This further impacts innovation as meritorious advancements are buried in this thicket and the public has to pay monopoly pricing and the costs to the public of litigation," she said.
The six-woman, four-man jury is expected to hear the case over Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays for the rest of April, after which deliberations will begin.
The case is 12-00630, Apple vs Samsung Electronics et al, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.
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