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Apple, Samsung assert infringement claims

Posted: 08 Apr 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Apple  Samsung  patent infringement  Android  iPhone 

Apple has uncovered internal Samsung documents from 2010 alleging the Korean company copied a patented iPhone feature in a court testimony. In a different occasion, Samsung showed Apple internal emails including one from Steve Jobs suggesting it was under extreme pressure in 2013 to respond to features in Samsung and other Android phones.

Phil Schiller, Apple's head of marketing, was on the stand for part of the day, the second full day of testimony. It is the second major patent infringement case Apple has brought in front of a Silicon Valley jury here.

Multiple models of six Samsung phones infringe the so-called slide-to-unlock patent (the so-called '172 patent), said a computer science expert testifying for Apple. He showed multiple pages from multiple 2010 internal Samsung reports to support his conclusion.

On several pages, the reports compared pictures of prototype Samsung phones side-by-side with the iPhone. They recommended detailed changes in the Samsung phones so that they unlocked in ways more like the iPhone.

For example, one page from a Samsung software usability report from March 2010 compared the unlock feature on the iPhone to the same feature on a Samsung prototype phone code named Amethyst. It criticized the Amethyst phone and recommended Samsung designers, "make animation smooth and continuous like the iPhone."

Samsung prototype phone matches iPhone's slide-to-unlock feature

One of several pages from a Samsung internal report dated March 2010 comparing how well its prototype phone matched the patented slide-to-unlock feature of the iPhone.

In its first case 18 months ago, Apple showed similar side-by-side reports, typically calling the Samsung phones to more closely follow the iPhone's approach.

Earlier in the day, Samsung showed internal Apple reports and emails, suggesting in 2013 Samsung was gaining brand recognition among users. It also suggested Apple was considering adopting for its iPhone5 larger screens and batteries and lower prices, following the success of those features in Samsung Galaxy phones.

"Consumers want what we don't have, larger than 4in screens and less than $300 [prices]," said an Apple sales document from April 2013. Schiller dismissed it as one salesperson's view and not Apple's position.

Later, Samsung showed an email from Steve Jobs discussing the agenda for a meeting among the company's top 100 executives on Apple's 2011 strategy. In the email Jobs said Apple's "holy war with Google" was a primary reason for the meeting and said he wanted to "hear about what we are doing in each presentation."

"He was writing to challenges all of us because he thought we weren't thinking about Google and he wanted us to," said Schiller.

In the message, Jobs called 2001 the year of the cloud. Google and Microsoft are "way ahead of Apple in cloud services," Jobs wrote.

Schiller noted Apple had a strategy of synching devices such as the iPhone via the "digital hub" of Macintosh computers. The following year marked Apple's move into services such as iCloud, he said.

A Samsung attorney suggested by late 2012 the larger screens and batteries, lower prices and more models of Galaxy phones were putting competitive pressure on Apple. An Apple report from December 2012 included one foil titled, "Samsung brand impression is just as strong as Apple's in the U.S."

"This doesn't say good or bad it just says impression... You can't draw any conclusions of whether it's good or bad," said Schiller.

Samsung showed other emails in which Schiller suggested Apple was under market pressure. In one he told Apple chief executive Tim Cook he was considering firing Media Arts, Apple's ad agency for more than 15 years.

"We have a lot of work to do to turn this around," Schiller wrote in one email.

Later in 2013, Apple launched its first brand advertising campaign in 16 years, a program called, "Designed by Apple in California." The campaign had "nothing to do with Samsung, it was about raising the bar," said Schiller, noting he took charge of all Apple advertising after Steve Jobs' death.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times

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