SAN JOSE – Apple’s head of marketing said he was “shocked” when he first saw Samsung’s “copycat” products of the iPhone and iPad that he said have impacted Apple’s sales. An attorney for Samsung suggested the designs are less distinctive and less important to customers than Apple claims and allegedly infringing phones are noticeably different.
“I was pretty shocked at the appearance of the [Samsung] Galaxy S phone, its appearance and the problems it would cause Apple,” said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of marketing at Apple in the second full day of testimony in its $2.5 patent infringement case against Samsung, one of its largest component suppliers.
Schiller said he was “even more shocked” when he first saw Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, an Android tablet that resembled the iPad. “My first thought was they have done it again, they are just going to copy our whole product line,” he said.
“It’s our belief some customers are choosing to buy a Samsung product because it looks a lot like the iPhone or iPad and subsequent purchases are affected because [the user is] then in a certain [competing] ecosystem,” Schiller said.
In cross-examination, Samsung attorney William Price showed an April 26, 2010, email from Steve Sinclair a member of Schiller’s team questioning what was novel in the iPhone.
“I don’t know how many things we can come up with that you could legitimately claim we did first,” wrote Sinclair. “We had the first commercially successful version of many features but that’s different than launching something to market first,” he added
Sinclair noted that before the iPhone launch, LG shipped its Prada phone that used a touch screen interface. He also noted Palm had more than 10,000 apps for its Treo phones.
Judge Lucy Koh noted the Prada phone does not constitute legal prior art that would invalidate any of Apple’s utility or design patents asserted in the case.
Price also showed side-by-side comparisons of the iPhone with Samsung Continuum, Infuse 4G and Droid Charge phones Apple claims infringe its patents. He showed the nine-person jury significant differences in the design of those phones such as their use of four hardware keys and a logo on their front face.
“I have looked at the phones in this case and I believe they could me confused,” said Schiller. “Samsung has ripped off a number of design elements,” he charged.
Price noted Apple only does surveys of its own users. He suggested the company has no data on whether anyone purchased Samsung products because they thought they were from Apple. He also noted Samsung phones have some unique attributes such as replaceable batteries, support for Adobe Flash and larger displays which could attract customers.
Price also showed an Apple survey indicating 78 percent of iPhone buyers also purchase a third-party case for the phone, many of them covering what Apple argues are unique design features of the handset.
As of June, Apple has sold 72 million iPhones and spent $647 million advertising the products. It has sold 28 million iPads and spent $457.2 million advertising them in the same period, he said.
Testimony continues this afternoon with Scott Forstall, senior vice president of Apple’s iOS on the stand.