SAN JOSE – As many as 13 Samsung phones use “substantially similar” icons and display screens as protected in an Apple iPhone design patent, said an expert witness testifying for Apple. Another 11 Samsung handsets are “confusingly similar” in their trade dress, said Susan Kare, a graphics designer who created icons for the original Apple Macintosh computer.
“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 color 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.
“I went to pick up the iPhone to make a point and I was holding a Samsung phone,”
This strikes me as being very similar to the late-night infomercials where they try to sell you a useless egg cracker by making cracking an egg look impossible to do without losing half the egg on the floor and your face.
It turns out, Lancia was the first to inroduce the V-6 in production cars, in 1950 (not the '60s as I said before). BUT the V-6 engine had already been built way before that, just never applied to production cars.
The point being, every automaker soon copied Lancia. Because the V-6 is very efficent in space utilization. This is very analogous to Apple and Samsung.
The other thing is, Samsung should come back and say look at our screen. It's 16:9 wide screen. Apple's is not. How can anyone not see the difference?
In point of fact, the iPhone5 is coming out with a 16:9 screen, so I think Samsung should sue Apple. The Apple iPhone and iPad screens have always been hopelessly squarish looking, compared with what the world of digital TV has been providing.
Well, I don't have data on the V6, but Lancia patented their V8 engine in 1915:
Most car companies have large patent portfolios.
Most things are obvious after the fact. It is when you realize that no one was doing it before the invention despite the advantages that you realize that things are not always as obvious as they appear.
@Bert: Apple got these documents through the legal discovery process whereby both sides are allowed to seek internal emails and documents for the other to support their case.
Stay tuned to see more of these goodies. They are a rare and legal peek in to the workings of giants like Apple and Samsung.
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