Samsung 132-Page Document Shows Detailed Design Comparison to iPhone

 
 
By Robert J. Mullins  |  Posted 2012-08-09
 
 
 

When the Apple vs. Samsung patent-infringement trial resumes Aug. 10 in San Jose, Calif., attention is expected to focus on a 132-page confidential Samsung report showing point-by-point how Samsung's design comes up short compared with the iPhone.

The document, introduced into evidence by Apple during the trial in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is meant to support Apple's contention that Samsung copied Apple's design for its new smartphones and, in doing so, violated Apple's patents on the devices. Apple also accuses Samsung of copying design features of Apple's iPad tablet computer in its Galaxy Tab line of tablets.

The report, labeled "Highly Confidential-Attorneys' Eyes Only," compares design features with both phones depicted in side-by-side images that display the calendar and calculator functions, the Web browser, connectivity, multimedia and other areas.

For instance, the report compares the calendar functions and notes that when an iPhone user taps on a particular date, a window appears below with a summary of their appointments that day. But on the Samsung model, the "legibility" of the calendar items is poor because the window in which they appear is too small. In another example, the report is critical of the telephone keypad screen on the Samsung device for "poor utilization of space" compared with that of the iPhone.

The analysis also praises the clean look of the iPhone home screen that is designed to prevent application icons from being repeated on the home screen, while the image of the Samsung home screen has three icons, all indicating the Gmail application. Samsung phones run Google's Android mobile operating system. A graphic designer called into court by Apple testified that she thinks Samsung copied the graphic design of Apple icons.

The report describes the iPhone user interface for connecting to a WiFi network as "intuitive," while noting that a Samsung user has to go to two screens and take additional steps to establish a connection.

Samsung executives, during their trial testimony, have not denied that they looked at the iPhone and other smartphone brands in designing Samsung's devices, but deny that they actually copied design features of the iPhone.

Presented with an excerpt of the 2010 report by an Apple attorney, Justin Denison, chief strategy officer for Samsung's mobile business, acknowledged in testimony Aug. 3that Samsung studied Apple products when developing its own competing models, but denied that it went so far as to copy Apple's design in its products.

In fact, Scott Forstall, the Apple senior vice president in charge of the iOS software for iPhones and iPads, testified that Apple, too, did "teardowns" of competitors' products, including Samsung's devices. However, he said that was done to benchmark the designs of rivals, not to copy them. Apple is seeking $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung for patent infringement.

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