The Samsung v Apple / Apple v Samsung trial kicked off its second week on Monday with the testimony of Samsung strategy officer Justin Denison who answered questions from an Apple lawyer about a Samsung email, which Samsung had tried to get excluded from the trial. The email discussed the impact of the iPhone and a "crisis in design" at Samsung.
Denison began his testimony by saying that he finds “offensive” claims his company is copying Apple. He added that Samsung is proud of the “products it produces, and all the hard work that goes into bringing those products to market”. However, the potentially damming email was raised during cross examination.
In the email Samsung’s head of mobile communications JK Shin said the user experience between Samsung and Apple smartphones was like “a difference between Heaven and Earth.”
He wrote: “Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide. Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.”
AllThingsD has the entire transcript of the email, here are some of the highlights.
“I hear things like this: Let’s make something like the iPhone.”
“When everybody (both consumers and the industry) talk about UX, they weigh it against the iPhone. The iPhone has become the standard. That’s how things are already.”
“Do you know how difficult the Omnia is to use? When you compare the 2007 version of the iPhone with our current Omnia, can you honestly say the Omnia is better?”
The email certainly did something to bolster Apple’s claim that Samsung had copied its design of the iPhone.
Comparisons and confusion
Up next was Peter Bressler, an industrial designer who Apple has paid a total of $75,000 (so far) for his expertise in patents. Silicon Valley has information about this exchange in its Live Blog. Bressler said: "It is my opinion there are a number of Samsung phones and two Samsung tablets that are substantially the same as the designs in those patents."
Referring to the Galaxy S 4G, which was passed around the jury, he said: "It my opinion the design of this phone substantially the same [as the Apple patents].”
Bressler also referred to the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, which Judge Koh has issued a preliminary injunction against – the jury does not know this.
Regarding the comparisons, Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven said: “Each of the images we’ve looked at are rectangular in shape with rounded corners”. During a discussion with the Judge Koh, Samsung’s attorney requested that the F700, a pre-iPhone design that had been excluded from the trial, could be featured for the purpose of showing an alternative design.
In his research for Apple, Bressler has studied a report finding that Best Buy customers mistakenly bought Samsung products thinking they were Apple’s. Verhoeven questioned Bressler about the fact that there is no actual evidence that people were confused by the ‘similarities’ between Samsung and Apple devices. “You have no direct evidence that consumers have purchased either Apple or Samsung smartphones believing they were buying each others' product,” Verhoeven told Bressler, and Bressler conceded that he had no direct knowledge of consumer confusion.