Samsung vs. Apple Day 9: Samsung Consultant Stephen Gray On Stand [Liveblog]

Samsung vs. Apple Day 9: Samsung Consultant Stephen Gray On Stand [Liveblog]

Patent analyst Stephen Gray is the next and final witness of the day from Samsung. He’s expected to talk about the limitations of the Apple patent at issue, as well as the same prior art touch screen applications that Van Dam talked about a few minutes ago.

3:50PM: Gray says he is a consultant with a lot of experience with user interfaces. He worked for Xerox for a long time, creating electronic graphics. He has worked with CC++ Java, COBOL, and a few more programming languages.

He has studied reports on the case and is here to say that the Apple 915 patent is invalid. This is the patent differentiating between one finger scrolling and two finger scrolling.

4:04PM: Now Gray is talking about limitations of the DiamondTouch application being used by Samsung as “prior art”. He distinguishes touch functionality between single input point-touching, which is a scroll operation, and multiple point-touching, which is a scaling operation or gestures. So one finger=scroll, and two fingers=zoom.

4:15PM: Gray discusses the fractal zoom application, running on the Diamond Touch system. The fractal zoom is the app that enables magnification. The zoom figures out how operations scale and how they respond to the application to a touch, how it reforms to the screen and how it is layered by virtue of the way that it is scrolled. That’s a handful, isn’t it? Gray also shows, through a video, the zooming in and out and slowly points out the particulars to the jury.

4:20: Gray now talks about “the Nomura reference,” a Japanese patent filed in November 1998. Nomura is a portable application patent that uses touch-screen application relating to enlargement, reduction, and scrolling. It’s another instance of prior art.

4:22PM: Lawyers bring up Jeff Han’s famous touch screen video at the TED conference, as another display of prior art.

4:25PM: All claims limitations by Apple in this case, Gray declares, are not valid. One particular claim, which governs applications on a tile screen as “substantially centered,” is overly ambiguous as a term and doesn’t make much sense. This centering claim identifies a single box within “a plurality of boxes.” When there are nested boxes in a screen (like the iPhone home screen) where a user selects only one box, the system figures out which one of the boxes the user wants to be zoomed in or centered from all the nested boxes. Gray testifies that there are many different types of mobile tile applications and functions that are similar to this one, so it’s not original and patentable. This is a similar argument to Van Dam, the previous witness.  Van Dam declared if the original patent officer who reviewed Apple’s application would have known about DiamondTouch and its capabilities, Apple would have never received the patent.

4:27PM: Apple lawyers begin their cross-examination. They want Gray to immediately admit elements of zooming and scaling are either always present or not. The attorney suggests Gray’s testimony should not be used by the jury if it is found that even a bit of the elements of the language in the touch screen systems do not work.

4:25PM: The Apple attorney notes Gray has no degrees in computer science. He is an economist who trained himself into learning programming and became an engineer on his own time.

4:27PM The attorneys ask Gray to explain the LaunchTile application once again and force him to admit that he changed his position on the nature of the Nomura application. He had originally said an “event object” that occurred during zooming was not present in the application but now felt that it was indeed a part of the app.

4:30PM Testimony is finished for the day.

  • hanhothi

    Yeh! Go Samsung! Enough of these bully boy tactics from Apple, they seem to think they own everything these days. I have had a Samsung Tablet that is rectangular with rounded corners for years. All these gestures that Apple wish to claim ownership are natural human gestures that we have been using since our species evolved. How they were issued a Patent for these is beyond my comprehension.

  • Clark Wallace

    Anybody else notice the piece of hair laying on the paper in the stock photograph?

About the author

Jose FermosoJose Fermoso is a freelance reporter and researcher. He has written freelance for many tech and business publications. He is a former writer for Wired.com and GigaOm. Loyal Oaklander. Twitter @fermoso.

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