Apple Business Google iOS News Politics Samsung, apple, Court, iPad, iphones, Patent trial, Samsuing, San jose, smartphones, trial — August 7, 2012 17:50 — 1 Comment
Peanut butter or turkey? It’s all a matter of taste in Apple v Samsung patent trial
US tech giant pays $75,000 for design guru to present evidence in court of Samsung’s alleged patent infringement relating to the iPhone
An Apple design expert who told a California court that Samsung’s smartphones and tablets violated the patents on the iPhone and iPad was relentlessly grilled by Samsung’s lawyers challenging his conclusions as the patent trial between the two tech giants entered its second week.
On Monday Apple called Peter Bressler, a college professor with electronics design experience and some 70 patents to his name, who analysed Samsung gadgets and the iPhone and iPad.
“You’re asking me to compare peanut butter and turkey,” a slightly exasperated Bressler quipped after about an hour of grilling from Charles Verhoeven the Korean firm’s lawyer.
Verhoeven quickly asked which design was which lunch treat. “This is a level of detail that the ordinary observer would never be interested in looking at,” Bressler replied.
Apple is claiming $2.5 billion in damages, alleging that Samsung “slavishly copied” the iPhone and iPad. The Cupertino company has claimed an internal Samsung document showed that the 2007 iPhone launch triggered a “crisis in design” at its great rival.
“It is my opinion there are a number of Samsung phones and two Samsung tablets that are substantially the same as the designs in (the iPhone and iPad) patents,” Bressler said.
Samsung’s lawyer spent hours trying to take apart Bressler’s findings, repeatedly showing diagrams of distinctions in Apple and Samsung smartphones and tablets to undercut his position.
Verhoeven also presented evidence allegedly showing there was ample “prior art” in the industry.
The argument is likely to be a crucial question for the jury: were Apple’s patents the result of unprecedented advances in smartphone and tablet design – or merely ingredients that were already developed by tech leaders transforming cellphones into smartphones.
Apple already has paid Bressler $75,000 for his work on the case, the court heard. He is expected to return to the stand Tuesday.
On Monday, lawyers for Apple showed an internal Samsung document that likened the look of their rival gadgets to “heaven and Earth” and described a “crisis in design”.
But Samsung strategy chief Justin Denison called that kind of language “hyperbole”, saying it sounded like something senior executives would have used to motivate and energise employees.
“What we would like to be able to do is just compete in the market,” Denison said. Asked by Apple attorney Bill Lee whether there was a difference between competing “fairly and squarely” and taking someone else’s intellectual property, he said: “Yes.”
The Guardian reports that Bressler said he read numerous depositions of Apple employees and discovered the company employed special machine processes, for instance. He also examined a number of gadgets, and Apple’s patents on file before forming his conclusion that Samsung had borrowed multiple Apple design elements.
The trial in downtown San Jose mirrors a fierce battle for industry supremacy between Apple and Samsung, which between them account for more than half of worldwide smartphone sales.
It is one of many disputes between the two around the world that analysts see as partly aimed at slowing the spread of Google’s Android, now the world’s most used mobile software.
On Friday, lawyers showed Apple vice president Eddy Cue urging then-chief operating officer Tim Cook in January 2011 to build a mini-iPad because he believed there was a market for a seven-inch tablet. Late co-founder Steve Jobs was “receptive” to the idea, according to Cue’s email, fanning speculation Apple plans to make a mini-iPad to take on cheaper gadgets from Google and Amazon.
• Additional information from The Drum