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Samsung phones 'similar' to iPhone

Posted: 09 Aug 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:patent battle  iPhone  designs  icons  display screen 

In a patent battle, Apple continues to call experts as witnesses in the courtroom to testify that Samsung copied Apple's iPhone designs.

This time it was ex-Apple employee and graphics expert Susan Kare, who in-fact said that the designs of Samsung phone and iPhone are so "similar" that she confused a Samsung handset with an iPhone.

"As many as 13 Samsung phones use "substantially similar" icons and display screens as protected in an Apple iPhone design patent," said Kare, who created icons for the original Apple Macintosh computer. "Another 11 Samsung handsets are "confusingly similar" in their trade dress."

"I had the experience of being confused," Kare told the jury, describing her experience seeing a conference table full of operating handsets when preparing for her testimony with Apple attorneys.

"I went to pick up the iPhone to make a point and I was holding a Samsung phone," said Kare who has run her own design consulting firm for 27 years. "I think of myself as someone who is pretty granular in looking at graphics, and I mistook one for the other," she said.

Kare singled out the Samsung Captivate, Continuum, Droid Charge, Epic 4G, Infuse 4G, Vibrant and other handsets as substantially or confusingly similar to the iPhone and its D604,305 patent.

The Samsung phones had a few variations from the Apple designs that Kare characterized as minor. For example, some Samsung handsets had three dots near the top of the icons or a blue rather than a black status bar at the top.

"I noticed it but it didn't affect my conclusion," Kare said. "I felt it was pretty minor compared to the exciting mix of colour icons that grab you, the [black] grid, the shape and the way the icons fill the screen [which] is mainly what you notice," she said.

Samsung attorneys will cross-examine Kare later today.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times

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