Intellectual Property

What Patent Wars Have Come To: "We're Fighting Over Rectangles"

Apple v. Samsung trial starts this week, partly over the "look and feel" of tablets and smart phones.

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The Apple v. Samsung trial that begins in a San Jose federal courtroom on Monday could emerge as the most important patent dispute of the decade. Apple and Samsung are accusing each other of infringing on a number technology patents, while Apple also claims that Samsung's Galaxy phones and tablets wrongfully copy the look and feel of the iPhone and iPad.

The outcome of the battle could have far-reaching ramifications across the consumer electronics and mobile industries. Kevin Packingham, Samsung's Chief Product Officer, knows what's at stake, having previously worked as an executive at Sprint Nextel before launching a start-up that helped China's Huawei bring its phones and tablets to the United States.