SAN JOSE – An expert witness testifying for Apple said as many as 11 Samsung phones and two tablets infringe Apple design patents.
Peter W. Bressler—a consultant and teacher of industrial design who holds more than 30 design patents—said 11 Samsung phones infringe Apple’s D618,677 design patent. The patent mainly covers the appearance of the front face of the iPhone including its rectangular shape with rounded corners and a flat, black front surface.
“The eyes of the ordinary observer… might mistake one for the other,” he said of the Samsung handsets including the Samsung Galaxy S 4G and the iPhone.
Eight Samsung handsets infringe Apple’s ‘087 design patent, and Samsung’s 7- and 10-inch Galaxy Tab products infringe Apple’s ‘899 patent, he added. “It is my opinion that there are a number of Samsung phone and two Samsung tablets that are substantially the same” as the designs in the iPhone and iPad, he told the nine members of the jury here.
Bressler said he considered the best examples of prior art brought forward to date by Samsung. He said he does not believe they relate to or invalidate the design elements in the Apple patents.
Separately, Apple brought into evidence two reviews of Samsung phones in question.
In one review Wired Magazine described the Samsung Vibrant as, “the body of an iPhone and brains of Android.” The “Vibrant’s industrial design is shockingly similar to the iPhone 3G,” it said.
A PC World review of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 said it was “often being mistaken by users passing by (including iPad 2 users) for an iPad 2.”
Bressler will face cross examination from Samsung this afternoon which is expected to bring its own experts to testify. This is the second week of the case expected to last about a month.
Apple is seeking $2.5 billion for infringement and damages, a landmark figure for a patent case. A separate, related case is slated to begin here between the two parties in March.
But getting back to the design of the iPhone and Samsung smartphones, the criteria for a design patent is 'ornamental design for an object having practical utility'. A design does not have to be identical to infringe a design patent, it only need to be 'substantially similar'. So I guess it comes down to the legal definition of 'substantially similar'.
I've never met anyone who thought that owning an Apple product was a sign of prestige.
Many people think the iPhone, iPad, etc. are cool, but I doubt that many people think the owners of those products are cool simply because they own one :)
If "Apple products are viewed as a sign of prestige" and "high end users prefer Apple products", then let these "high end" users buy Apple products - and let others buy other products. Apple should be happy to compete on the quality of their products, their supporting ecosystem, and the strength of their brand. If people think their "i" products are better than other devices, they will buy them. Trying to hinder competition and alternatives on the basis of being a similar shape is just pathetic.
Where would the motor industry be today if early manufacturers like Benz and Daimler had sued Ford for copying their "one wheel in each corner" design?
Agree "when did Americans become so dumb". I was at Physio Control (Medtronic’s) and an engineer their had a patent hanging on the wall. The patent was for; "a defibrillator made portable, by putting a wall hanging hook on its back". The PTO holds my feet to the fire, but big corporate patent attorneys pay barely any more fees than the little guys. So, they can torment the PTO patent officers endlessly. I really think that some patent officers finally give in and grant these "obvious" "inventions" just to get that lawyer off their backs. Make it fairer? Easy, charge a PTO fee based on corporate valuation and gross revenue. Cut the fees in half for tiny 1 person independents.
The Microshafts and Apples and Samsungs should pay a 100K application fee. They easily have the funds. If the PTO gets more income than its costs, then use the $$ to fund technical college types (Mechanical, electronics, materials) in exactly the ratios of the current applications.
subject matter that could be considered offensive to any race, religion, sex, ethnic group, or nationality is not proper subject matter for a Design Patent Application (35 U.S.C. 171 and 37 CFR § 1.3).
The fact that I am a caucasian male and find the design of the iphone offensive proves that the iphone patent is invalid
"But fact of the matter is Apple products are viewed as sign of prestige. And high end users prefer Apple products."
As a previous poster commented, when did Americans become so dumb?
So, those who think they are privileged for owning iPhones want to make sure no one else builds rectangular toys with shiny finish and rounded corners?
Doesn't the Galaxy phone have a wider aspect ratio screen? How come these experts can't notice that?