Apple Vs Samsung – Samsung's Damning Evidence
August 8, 2012

Apple Vs Samsung – The Case Of Samsung’s Damning Evidence

Michael Harper for — Your Universe Online

The epic battle between Apple and Samsung continues in Judge Koh´s San Jose, CA court this week, and already there have been some very interesting developments.

Earlier, Apple argued that Samsung not only ripped off Apple´s designs in their phones, Samsung´s icons even borrowed quite heavily from Apple´s design playbook.

This week, they´ve been arguing that Samsung has been more than intentional about these similarities, offering some seemingly damning evidence against the Galaxy maker.

Yesterday, the graphic designer responsible for the Happy Mac icon once seen on older Apple machines of yore agreed with Apple´s claims, saying the similarity between the two companies icons are “beyond coincidental.”

Called as a paid witness for Apple, Susan Kare said the application screens on at least 11 Samsung smartphones looked “substantially similar” to the iPhone´s home screen, as described in their ℠305 patent.

“The similarities I saw were the regular grid, the rows of four icons, the colorful mix of icons that are square with rounded corners,” said Kare.

“It is my opinion that these graphic features create an overall visual impression that could be confusing to a consumer.”

In fact, Kare even said she had once before confused an Apple device for a Samsung device.

“There was a big conference table with a bunch of smartphones on it,” said Kare in a pre-trial meeting.

“A number of them were on; I could see their screens. I went to pick up an iPhone to make a point about onscreen graphics, and found I was holding a Samsung. I think of myself as someone who´s pretty granular about looking at graphics, and I mistook one for the other. So I personally have had the experience of being confused.”

According to All Things D, Kare later struggled to say how a consumer might confuse the startup sequence on a Samsung Droid Charge with that of iPhone´s, but held to her first argument, saying the similarities between the two phones was “beyond coincidental.”

Later that day, Apple submitted yet another seemingly strong piece of evidence against Samsung, saying the company used the iPhone as a sort of template when building their Galaxy phone.

Apple even has a 132-page long Samsung internal document to this effect, which they managed to submit into evidence yesterday.

In this 2010 document, translated from Korean to English, Samsung takes a rather exhaustive and thorough look at the iPhone, pointing out nearly every one of its qualities and putting it against Samsung´s shortcomings, and they´re pretty complimentary of Apple´s smartphone. Everything from the home screen to the web browser to the way iPhone´s icons wiggle when they´re being moved is discussed in this document. In each page, the iPhone is shown on the left with whatever feature is being highlighted, such as the home screen. The Samsung Galaxy is seen on the right side, with its flaws highlighted and outlined.

On one page, entitled “Usage of indistinguishable icons for different functions makes for difficult differentiation,” the iPhone is said to have “Instant recognizability due to highly intuitive icon usage.”

The Samsung Galaxy, on the other hand, is described by Samsung´s own product development team as having “Difficult differentiation due to icons that are duplicative or intuitively deficient.”

The product development team recommended a change in the replicate icons as well as a shift to more intuitively designed icons.

While these documents seem to offer die-hard evidence that Samsung slavishly copied Apple, they don´t prove that Samsung has infringed upon any of Apple´s trade dress patents, which is the main reason we´re all here, after all.

Trial continues this week, and if it continues the way it´s been, we could see some even more interesting developments come out of the California district court.