Apple rested its case yesterday late in the afternoon but its work proving its patents were seriously infringed upon is just getting started. Today marks the first full day of Samsung witnesses and we expect to hear testimony tailored to break down patent claims related to touch screen technology, UI design, and maybe even hardware manufacturing.
The Monday session centered on analysis of Samsung gadget sales figures containing the potentially infringing technology and Apple’s previous use of licensing agreements. Apple witnesses testified the Cupertino company was due at least $2.7B in damages based on Samsung U.S. profit. As throughout the rest of the trial, Samsung attempted to rattle the presumed objectivity of Apple witnesses by onssucating. Also on Monday, it was revealed that Apple licensed its patent-controlled technology to Microsoft in a limited form. Samsung used that opportunity to show Apple’s own attempt at licensing the same technology to Samsung was not done in good faith.
Session has already started so let’s get to the liveblog. We’ll update as often as possible,
830AM: Before the jury even sat down, arguments between Apple and Samsung lawyers turned to the counsel of another big Silicon Valley company: Intel. Representatives from the chip-maker submitted a complaint saying they weren’t notified that parts of its code was given to a Samsung witness to look over. The court has ruled previously that any technology from a company that is connected to this trial, apart from Samsung or Apple, needs to be notified when any of its confidential patents are used or if they may be made public.
The judge decided to postpone the testimony of the witness involved in the Intel analysis because of this potential problem. She said she wanted to hear from outside counsel in order to figure out if the evidence is admissible.
940AM: Woodward Yang, a computer science professor at Harvard University, begins his testimony. He talks about the specifics of the patent infringements in regards to software applications. His testimont begins a somewhat surprising development in the case: Samsung will counter Apple’s copycat claims with its own idea of possible patent infringement on behalf of Apple.
950AM: Yang spends a good amount of time detailing patents Samsung claims Apple has violated. One is the seemingly simple function of sending a photo to a friend and returning to the same place in a mobile photo gallery. I do this all the time, so I appreciate the specifics of the testimony.
1015AM: Testimony on “711’ patent (US patent 7698711) is underway. This is the background music patent, focusing on the music that can played on iPhone devices during stand-by mode. The witness is evaluating the patent in specific gadgets including those of the iPhone 4, 3G, 3GS. Samsung is attempting to show the different functions of Apple devices so it can compare to gadgets that came before the iPhone and to show that the technology is part of its “prior art” argument. Additionally, this testimony fits its now-developing case against Apple’s own possible infringement.
1040AM: Intel attorneys make a cameo. They address the judge and say they will seek sanctions against Samsung for showing their secret codes to a witness without letting the company know but that it is fine if he testifies today.
1100AM: Apple begins its cross-examination of Dr. Yang by essentially yelling at him and acting a bit snobbish: “Let’s assume you say ‘Samsung makes very important inventions.’” Dr. Yang seems amused by the aggressiveness of the Apple attorney. They are making him go through previously submitted documents of Samsung self-evaluation, including a chart where Samsung details all of the types of patents they include in their products. The patent in question, shown in the slide, shows a fully blank column, implying that Samsung always knows what it is doing, including copying patents.
1110AM: The Apple attorney plays a video of a Samsung engineer, speaking in Korean, as he details documents that were prepared in evaluation of Samsung technology. They are attempting to show the company as a bit shadowy, laying foundation for the claims they could have easily stolen technology. This is a highlighted in a short segment:
Q.”…did you prepare these documents?”
Q. Did you destroy them?
A. [short laugh] I believe they have been discarded.
1120AM: Apple attorneys try to undermine Dr. Yang’s expertise and objectivity by highlighting video testimony of the actual inventors of the patents in question describing how it is actually difficult to describe a short sequence of code in an application and whether it is easily replicable by just looking at it. “Two people who were the inventors can’t explain the claim but you can?”
Yang answers that he can.
1150AM: The focus of the last half-hour of Dr. Yang’s testimony has been on trudging through specifics of gadget function “modes” and whether they can operate more than one mode at a time. Modes are mentioned in patent holdings as being a difference that separates Apple’s products from Samsung. Dr. Yang says the definition of modes is simplistic in the trial so far because different products can easily have more than one mode at a time. For example, a phone could be in “silent mode” but it can also pick up email. Same thing for a camera or other products.
110PM: Jeeyuen Wang, a top UX designer at Samsung, arrives at court. She is testifying in her native Korean, with an interpreter at her side. After establishing her design credentials and education (including attending a top design school in Korea), she describes her role in designing the user interface of the Gala Si9000 as being integral but only one of hundreds of people who worked on the phone. She is trying to establish that Samsung would not spend so much time and use so many personnel to simply copy a design.
She is asked directly whether she copied any icons from Apple and testifies that she did not.
130PM: The witness appears saddened while she describes developing the user interface because it was a very difficult period of hard work. She mentioned that while she was working on it there was so much pressure from the company and stress from the project that she stopped producing milk for her newborn baby.
145PM: Wang notes there were different directives from higher ups about what the user interface of their next gen phones would look like. She said they wanted something that was more sophisticated. One of the first iterations included an icon that looked like a cell phone, with an antenna, but because of the color, some people in the consumer testing program thought the UX might be confused with a game system or a PDA.
210PM: The last twenty or so minutes have involved deep deliberations and obfuscation intended to make the witness explain why the phone icon on the Galaxy phone looked so much like the “Ma Bell” icon in the iPhone. Wang says they were just trying to make a beautiful icon and that it’s a coincidence that the color looked similar.
230PM: In cross-examination, Apple lawyers brought up a Samsung internal document that compared the iconography of Samsung phones to that of the iPhone. The move was intended to show once again that Samsung carefully picked Apple’s design pocket for its smartphones. But Ms. Wang would not admit to any copying.
245PM: Wang’s cross examination has ended and Samsung has brought up video of Roger Fidler, considered to be one of the first people to come up with a design for a thin-form touch screen tablet. On the video shown, his tablet looks quite similar to the iPad, if only with a slightly narrower white bezel. Fidler says he came up with the concept in 1984.
300PM: On the video, Fidler continues to explain the origin of his tablet idea. He explains that in one of his main marketing videos that visually explained his idea, his video editor made it seem like the non-functioning mock-up screens were actually moving. This was a remarkable bit of video editing, since the prototypes of the tablet were made with simple plastic and paper.
The video below shows the tablet model being discussed but it was not shown in court.
330PM: Israeli national Itay Sherman is the next witness. He is currently the CEO of DoubleTouch, a multi-touch company which owns many patents in the space. He is also a former CTO of the mobile electronics unit of Texas Instruments. He is testifying on behalf of Samsung and will invalidate the same three patents other witnesses talked about earlier.
350PM: Sherman carefully compares iPhone and iPad designs to previously released gadgets in the early 2000s. He mostly focuses on the flat plane of the touch screen and the similar edges and describes it as “an overall rectangular shape.”
400PM:Samsung lawyers bring up the previously released email communication between Apple design team executives Johnny Ive and Richard Howarth, to allow Mr. Sherman to comment on. The email shows Ive asking Howarth to look into a specific design of another team member and how it reminds him of a “Sony-Style” appearance. Sherman says this example shows Apple used “prior art” in making its gadgets.
410pm: Now Samsung brings up Japanese patents that look eerily similar to the iPhone and compares them on a slide. All phones, including the iPhone, feature a similar flat screen, rounded corners, and similar-sized bezels.
420PM: Apple questions Sherman by first rattling his design expertise (he’s an engineer) and then by making him admit that if you look at the small details of the gadgets he is giving credit for being iPhone precursors, that they contain enough differences to make the claim of copying invalid.
An LG Prada phone is then analyzed for similar features and Sherman says the bezel and the flat, black design is reminiscent of the iPhone and could be used as a precursor. The Prada is getting more love and attention during this proceedings than it ever did as a real product from consumers.
430PM: Sherman is given two phones that may not seem immediately similar to the iPhone as those on the patents. The recent Nokia Lumia Windows 7 phone is given to Sherman to play with and he decides, that despite the neon blue back design and the slightly smoother architecture of the top and bottom sides, that it is still essentially the same design as the iPhone and the same design as the older Japanese patents. Apple Counsel goes over the same questions with Sherman on a rugged Casio g’zOne. They maintain the phones look very different from the iPhone but Sherman says the main feature, the flat screen front space, is not much different from the iPhone’s.
445PM: The court breaks for the day. See you tomorrow, at the same time.