The actively followed Apple vs. Samsung trial, presided over by US District Judge Lucy Koh, San Jose, California, listened to testimonies from Justin Denison, chief strategy officer for Samsung’s mobile, Scott Forstall, the Apple senior VP, who looks over iOS software for iPads and iPhones, and Philip Schiller, VP of marketing.
On Friday, August 3rd, the Samsung official, Denison, testified that although the company did a detailed tear down of Apple’s iPhone, it never did so to copy iPhone design or features. During cross-examination, Denison acknowledged the existence of an internal Samsung document titled “Galaxy S1 v. iPhone” from March of 2010, that was a detailed comparison of the two smartphones but was never meant to copy Apple’s technology.
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The executives of Apple testified that Samsung’s copying of Apple designs had hurt the business of iPhone severely. In his testimony, Schiller said, “Such copying “creates a huge problem in marketing,…Customers can get confused on whose product is whose.”
As Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is suing Samsung over claims of patent and design infringements, Samsung claims that Apple has copied its iPhone from Sony, and the iPhones use Samsung’s inventions, like computer chips without license or payment. Samsung also banks on the fact that its standing in the mobile phone industry dates back to 1991, while Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) just launched the iPhone in 2007. Phillip Schiller also admitted to a 2010 email from an Apple advertising executive that accepts that Apple would have difficulty in explaining the ‘firsts’ in its iPhone when their rival (Samsung) has had many products in the market for many years.
In the past week Samsung leaked evidence, which the Judge had declared as inadmissible in the proceedings, to the press. It consisted of slides of a former Apple designer’s deposition regarding a Sony Styled iPhone, as well as including a statement which Samsung claims would have proven their innocence. In retaliation to this antic, Apple has filed a petition to sanction Samsung’s attorney, John Quinn, for releasing the photos. Apple claims that the photos are intended to influence jury’s opinion.
The allegations that customers will have confusions over who the product manufacturer is, are clearly unfounded, if not ridiculous. All buyers and sellers of smartphones have no confusions on their purchases, they know what they are paying their money for. The bigger problem that Apple faces, is that Samsung products are sold at a much lower price than iPhones and iPads, and although they may not be as cool as Apple’s, they provide great user experience and competitive features. This has caused a sore wound in the iPhone business, and has brought Samsung, which uses Android technology, as the forerunner in the Smartphone market. Losing this extended legal battle would mean that the sanctioned company would either have to pull their products from market, and/or pay huge sums in damages.
The trial began on Monday, July 30, and is one of the several that are underway across the globe, in Australia, the UK, and Germany. Stay tuned for more updates.