Samsung Executive Denies Copying Apple iPhone, iPad Designs in Patent Trial

A Samsung executive testified during the trial of Apple's patent-infringement lawsuit that the company studied the designs of Apple's iPhone and iPad before developing their own competing models, but denied deliberately copying Apple's technology.

The first week of the trial of Apple's patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung included testimony from a Samsung executive acknowledging that the smartphone and tablet computer maker studied the products of rival Apple when developing its own competing models, but denying that it copied any elements of Apple's products.

The testimony of Justin Denison, chief strategy officer for Samsung's mobile business, came Aug. 3, in Federal District Court in San Jose, Calif., according to information obtained from a live blog of the trial proceedings by a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News.

An Apple attorney showed Denison an internal Samsung document titled "Galaxy S1 vs. iPhone" from March 2010, when Samsung was developing a smartphone to rival the iPhone, which was first introduced in 2007. While acknowledging that the report was a detailed comparison of the two products, he said it was not about copying features of the iPhone in the Galaxy S.

Earlier in the day, Scott Forstall, the Apple senior vice president in charge of the iOS software for iPads and iPhones, testified that Apple, too, did "teardowns" of competitors' products, including the Samsung Galaxy S, but that's done to benchmark the designs of rivals, not copy them, which is what Apple accuses Samsung of doing.

During the trial's morning proceedings, Philip Schiller, the senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple, testified that Samsung "has ripped off a number of our design elements" and that has hurt sales of iPhones and caused confusion in the marketplace for consumers.

Such copying "creates a huge problem in marketing," Schiller testified. "Customers can get confused on whose product is whose." And in addition to copying the iPhone with the Galaxy S, Schiller said Samsung later copied the iPad tablet computer, introduced in 2010, in the design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

"[We were] even more shocked. I thought 'they've done it again. They're just going to copy our whole product line,'" Schiller told the jury, according to the Mercury News. "It's having a large impact on the marketplace."

But under cross-examination by Samsung attorney Bill Price, Schiller acknowledged a 2010 email from an Apple advertising executive acknowledging that the company would have difficulty pointing to any "firsts" in the design of the iPhone, as several other brands of the devices were already on the market years before Apple introduced its product.

"We did not have exclusivity on playing movies or music on phones," Schiller acknowledged to Price.

Another controversy in the trial revolves around a petition Apple submitted to U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh, who's presiding over the trial, to sanction Samsung attorney John Quinn for putting out a Samsung news release criticizing Judge Koh for rulings that excluded evidence Samsung wanted to present to the jury.

In a filing seeking the sanctions, Apple argued that the news release was intended to influence the jury in favor of Samsung. In a response to the Apple filing, Quinn stated that the news release was only sent to reporters who were trying to get information from Samsung and that the issues in the release were previously discussed in open court.