Samsung continues its defense in the San Jose patent trial today against Apple, with more witnesses declaring Apple is the original copycat in the touch-screen mobile business.
We dig back in as one of the Samsung’s top executives, Industrial Designer Jin-Soo Kim, testifies about his role in the product development business.
1158AM: Kim is the second witness who has traveled from Seoul, Korea, to testify on behalf of the electronics giant.
After swearing in, Kim takes his seat next to an attorney who will translate his testimony from Korean.
Kim notes he has worked at Samsung for ten years. He is the principal industrial designer at the company, managing the mobile device team to make phones and tablets. The attorney notes that this includes the outside of the phone. He received a bachelors degree in industrial design and worked previously at the Hyundai Motor Company, designing the exteriors of cars. Aside: If you read through the backgrounds of many of the top industrial designers of gadgets, you’ll see they often start their careers at car companies. Maybe making your own car is the dream job of a industrial engineer.
Another note: Samsung attorneys have started their examinations of their own witnesses by going deep in detailing their experience and expertise, citing the prestigious nature of their work at home, and making them list every single one of their awards. Kim says he won a Red Dot design award a few years ago, which you can see here, for Samsung’s SGH-U600 phone (see pic above).
105PM: After a quick break for lunch, while Mr. Kim is seated, attorneys are battling the judge to throw out evidence of the f700 phone. This Samsung phone has made and sold before the iPhone was sold, so they are saying no potential damages should be given for this phone in case they go this way.
115PM: Once finished with their little skirmish, attorney Bill Price (for Samsung) immediately starts asking Mr. Kim about his work on the Galaxy Tab. Kim notes they started working on the Galaxy project on October 2009, with Price noting this was before the iPad was announced on January 2010.
125PM: Kim says the most important consideration in designing the Galaxy tab was to make the most available space for the display. He says one of the things they care about the most is the financial consideration of how much the total cost would be depending on the size of the glass. He is also the main efficiency expert when it comes to manufacturing capabilities. If they increased the glass of the display by 0.1-inch, for example, instead of units for 50 tablets, you would have enough glass for only 30.
Attorney Price gives Kim a Galaxy Tab and and an iPad to hold now, while testifies. Apple attorneys say he should not be allowed to touch the tablets or hold them up. Kim seems amused. The judge asks him to put them down.
130PM: Small decisions are important in making important features of a gadget like a Galaxy Tab. they have to consider where to put the speakers, where a camera might go, etc. Bill Price is trying to determine a difference between the orientaion of the tablets of the iPad and the Galaxy so he asks Kim how his team decided to define the orientation of the tablet and what it is. Kim says the Galaxy is landscape-oriented and the he considers the packaging and the frontal image display/area to figure out whether they need to increase the thickness or thinness of the gadget itself.
136PM: Kim says there was an important decision to be made about the vertical or horizontal decision, and the thickness of the gadget. They also considered whether it was comfortable for a person to hold. He notes they always start with the schedule to figure out how they are going to lay out the components and how they sit next to each other on the computer board. He says they designed mock-ups throughout the design process, and Kim has the mock-ups with him in court.
He said they had problems getting all of the components at times and this resulted in a bit of delay in creating and ultimately getting the Galaxy out. He notes they didn’t unveil the tablet until the World Mobile Congress in January 2011. This version of the tablet was a bit thicker than the version they later released in the U.S. When they released it at the event, there were about 80 competitive tablets there and the company saw that the Samsung design at the time was not good enough in comparison with them. So they decided they would produce the lightest and thinness tablet in the world and that would give them an edge. He also testifies that this decision was made before the iPad 2 was made in March 2012.
146PM: Kim testifies now about the considerations made regarding the look and size of the bezel in the Galaxy tab. With that frame and glass, he says, safety considerations are also important. He says that without the particular glass they use, the user may get shocked by the circuits, or if the tablet falls, it may break more easily. When designing the edge, he says the back of the hand should come in contact with the back of the device and that it should always be easy for the user to pick up the tablet.
Now they are showing a lot of different phones including the EPIC 4G Touch. Price asks him why a company would design different types of phones. Kim answers that many have different screen sizes, and it’s important to give potential users an option in the form factor. Some might like the feel of one form type above another.
148PM: After going over a slide with many of Samsung phones for the last few years, Kim testifies that he did not copy the work of any other phone.
152PM: Apple now begins the cross-examination.
155PM: The Apple attorney asks Kim whether he worked on a design code-named P1, later released as the Galaxy 7.010. Kim says yes, and follows up on the succeeding phones. P2 was a project never released, P3 was released as a follow up to the galaxy 7 but was never released in the U.S. , and the P4 was the one Samsung released in the U.S. as the Galaxy Ten series.
200PM: This is a potentially big note here. Apple’s attorneys alleged there was a meeting between Google and Samsung at the 2011 World Mobile Congress and that in that meeting it was found that the galaxy design looked too much like the iPad and then asked Kim to change it because of this.
210PM: Kim was quite forthcoming and authoritative in his testimony until the question was asked about the meeting and he immediately didn’t seem as forthcoming.
211PM: Apple attorney says another meeting with a designer reveled that Google directly said the gadget was too similar to the Apple iPad, especially on the front side. It seems Google demanded a visible different design that the iPad and got an iPad clone instead.
215PM: The attorney notes a follow up email that despite objections from Google and a meeting between Samsung executives, the Samsung team went ahead with their design. Kim testifies that having the thinnest form-factor was the most important factor in designing the gadget, so that may have been the reason why they ignored Google. Kim says that no supervisor ever mentioned the request to change the design to him.
220PM: Kim is excused.
After a day of very technical testimony, the last 15 minutes finally delivered a little excitement.