A message to the industry
The verdict “was a message to the industry at large that if you are going to compete in this country there’s a set of rules, and if you decide to take a calculated risk and infringe you need to be willing to pay a price for it,” he said.
Lawyers debated in court whether Samsung was copying Apple or merely benchmarking the competition. Again, Hogan recalled his own experience.
“I worked in R&D at Memorex when IBM first came out with the Winchester hard drive,” he recalled. “One weekend a colleague and I were tasked with reverse engineering it.
“We were concerned how IBM created an index point against the clock to establish where to write on the disk,” he said. “Once we saw how they did it, we asked ourselves how we could do it differently.
“I was tasked with designing a pattern generator which would create our clock track with an entirely different way to create the track,” he said. “We set out to understand [IBM’s drive], but made sure we would not copy it--it just takes a little innovation to do that, and at no time did IBM sue us,” he recalled
“Benchmarking is benchmarking, but that’s no carte blanche to copy a competitor,” he said.