Yesterday Apple's Harold McElhinny presented the firm's closing arguments in the massive Apple v Samsung patent trial. It's a complex case, so we've summarised Apple's arguments below.

1 Documents, not witnesses, are key

"Documents are the most valuable key in the truth-finding function," McElhinny argued. "Historical documents are almost always where the truth lies."

There have been many, many witnesses in the past weeks, and their testimony has frequently been contradictory. McElhinny advised the jury to look at the documents instead.

Apple vs Samsung patent trial

2 Look at the timeline

"If you want to find out what really happened, if you want to see the truth, make a chronology of it," said McElhinny.

This is a crucial issue. After considering whether Apple and Samsung's ideas and designs are similar enough to constitute patent violation, the jury need to examine when each company came up with them. Who copied whom? Which company invented the smartphone as we know it?

Apple's legal team showed the following slides to illustrate what they would argue is the evolution of Samsung smartphones before and after the iPhone launch (although Samsung has created slides of its own which are more ambiguous on this issue).

Apple vs Samsung patent trial

Apple vs Samsung patent trial

McElhinny argued that Samsung faced a crisis shortly after the iPhone launched - he called it "a crisis of design", and an issue that was raised at an internal meeting in 2010. Two weeks later, he claims, Samsung execs met staff from Google and were warned to "change the designs of the Galaxy S phones and the tablets they were working on because Google recognised Samsung was copying Apple's designs".

Samsung carried on regardless, McElhinny argued, and was able to design the Galaxy S in just three months (that figure was provided by the testimony of a Samsung designer earlier in the trial) because it was copying "the world's most successful product".

"Sales took off after the first iPhone-derived product was added to the mix," he added.

3 Samsung has been reluctant to co-operate

"No Samsung executives were willing to come here from Korea," McElhinny said.

"Samsung did not bring you a single witness that admitted to seeing the copying documents we showed you. Instead, they brought you lawyers."

4 Apple's designs aren't simply functional...

"Samsung says our patents are invalid because they are functional, and because they are obvious. Samsung's defence is a word game," McElhinny said.

"Not every smartphone needs to look like an iPhone."

At this point McElhinny showed images of more unusual-looking rival smartphones, including the Sony Xperia Arc.

Sony Xperia Arc

5 …and Samsung hasn't proved that Apple's designs are obvious

McElhinny stated that Samsung had failed to provide a single witness to testify that the iPhone's icon design was obvious.

Samsung's expert on design patents, furthermore, wasn't even an industrial designer. "They brought you an electrical engineer," McElhinny said, harking back to the idea of Samsung not co-operating with the process.

"There has been a complete failure of proof on that issue."

Continued overleaf: the second half of Apple's arguments >>

See also:

Everything you need to know about Apple vs Samsung

Apple v Samsung: day by day account of patent trial: UPDATED