As lawyers fired their opening salvoes in the Apple-Samsung patent trial yesterday, the judge suggested that what he called the 'Cheech and Chong' test should be applied when determining if Samsung had copied the design of Apple's iPhone.

“Does it look like it, feel like it, smell like it?” said judge Thomas Pender, of the US International Trade Commission, according to Bloomberg. Cheech and Chong used that principle to identify a lump of dog excrement (warning: contains bad language).

The kernel of Apple's case is that Samsung copied the interface of the iPhone, its visual appearance and elements of its physical design. One part of that, of course, hinges on the 'swipe to unlock' technology, which may be complicated by an earlier, similar technology used by a Swedish company called Neonode.

One dissenting voice, however, has suggested that the judge should have credited a far earlier source for his testing principle. Matt Egan, the editor of Macworld's sister site PC Advisor, insists that the true original is "If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

See also:

No agreement in Apple Samsung soiree, back in court today

Apple to buy Swedish firm holding 'swipe to unlock' patent - analyst

Apple files for preliminary injunction against Galaxy Tab 10.1

Apple and Samsung in talks to settle patent war