Samsung challenges expertise of Apple’s expert witness

“Samsung attorneys drew a bead on Apple’s claims about the uniqueness of its iPhone design Monday, with stronger counterclaims about preceding designs or ‘prior art,’ citing three patent applications that preceded the iPhone,” Charles Babcock reports for InformationWeek.

“Lead Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven also highlighted some surprising differences between Samsung smartphones and the iPhone, differences that a key expert witness for Apple seemed unaware of. On the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, the rounded corners aren’t rounded equally, as the iPhone’s are, Verhoeven pointed out,” Babcock reports. “He asked key Apple witness Peter Bressler, an expert on industrial design, if he had noticed how much the top corners are a tighter curve than the bottom corners on the Galaxy. If part of a circle, the top corners would have a radius of 10 centimeters; the bottom, 13 centimeters, he said. ‘I couldn’t dispute your measurements,’ Bressler responded. ‘I haven’t measured the corners’ on the Galaxy, he testified.”

Babcock reports, “But he came closer to drawing blood when one of his detail questions about a Samsung design elicited an inadvertent or unexpected response from Bressler. In evaluating one Samsung design, he said he didn’t spend time inspecting and couldn’t explain the four buttons at the bottom of the phone’s face, a common element of Android design. ‘You’re not an expert in the (operational) functions of a smartphone? I thought I just heard you say that,’ Verhoeven said. ‘I’m an expert on the function of design patterns,’ said Bressler. Verhoeven: ‘Did you actually use any of those buttons?’ Bressler: ‘No, not as part of my understanding of the design of the phones.’ …Verhoeven charged that Bressler had reached his conclusions that Samsung infringes based on “a thin layer” of surface design-only analysis.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, Chuck, it’s called Trade Dress Infringement. It’s part of the reason why your client is being hauled into courts the world over, including the one in which you’re floundering. It’s SOP to attempt to discredit expert testimony, but Samsung’s shyster’s ability to do so is severely lacking. Hopefully the jury can see right through it, too.

Apple’s products came first, then Samsung’s:

Samsung Galaxy and Galaxy Tab Trade Dress Infringement

Here’s what Google’s Android looked like before and after Apple’s iPhone:

Google Android before and after Apple iPhone

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26 Comments

      1. Money to burn, eh? Then you might be interested in buying the world’s largest Pennsylvania Pretzel replica of the Brooklyn Bridge, erected on a large midden in the Everglades. I forget the URL.

  1. I dislike samsung and believe they stole from apple.

    that said Apple’s legal team seems from numerous cases around the world not fully on the ball.

    Surely they could have got the witness to learn about Android and to use the phone? Surely they would have expected Samsung to cross exam? an ‘expert’ witness (the jury I think would have a hard time distinguishing a ‘trade dress’ witness from an ‘expert’ in general) that admits he hasn’t used the phone just sounds wrong.

    Apple’s legal talent is high priced. If you read the financial statements the SVP of legal issues gets the same multi million bonuses as Forstall (head of iOS) etc. As a small aapl investor I think Forstall, Ive etc are carrying their weight for their money, the legal team (see proview: 60m for a name!) not so much.

    1. This expert didn’t need to be an expert on Android phones. His expertise is on design patents. He looked at the android device and could see that it looks an awful lot like the iPhone, that is his expertise. Function is superfluous, this is about design, not function.

      1. They needed a Professor and 1990’s Design Expert to just LOOK at two things and say if they are similar? Could have gotten a High School student much cheaper.

    2. The attorney for Samsung is attempting to switch the discussion to a UTILITY patent issue… this is not about a utility patent. It is about a design patent… the LOOK, the overall design, appearance, the impression when seen, not how the buttons work. . . or even if there are buttons.

      1. what I’m saying dudes is that the JURY would be taken aback that a witness hadn’t really used the product his testifying his expertise on ((many juries are DUMB and might find it difficult to tell the difference between ‘trade dress’ expert and vs other patent expert)

        show a LAYPERSON that an ‘expert’ doesn’t even know what the buttons are for and you sow serious doubts about his ‘expertise’.

        once more it wouldn’t have been hard to ask an ‘expert’ to use the product and to brief him on it — for the millions apple is paying for lawyers they’ve got teams of staff. In other high level court cases huge amounts are done to prepare witnesses to the point of having ‘fake’ trials in rented court rooms. Here an expert is embarrassed by Samsung lawyer that he hasn’t even used the product.

        (by the way the SVP Legal of apple got shares bonus equal to 50-60 million when cook took over, same as Forstall etc. . Is he worth 60m for this?)

        1. One hopes that the jury has been instructed that functionality has nothing to do with trade dress, and that Apple is not assuming that the jury does know this.

  2. A parallel story. Back in tge 90’s Dan Jose City sued 26 wallstreet brokerages for fraud in federal court. During the 9 month trial many experts for both sides were called. One defense witness, a former FDC chairman was asked and forced by the judge to tell the jury he was being paid $750,000 to testify. The jury foreman reported in a post trial interview that the jury members all thought that was the turning point of the trial. They found the defendents guilty on every count and awarded tens of millions in damages. Apple paid this guy that same amount. Wonder how this jury will respond.

  3. Considering these are Apple’s witnesses and therefore should give them an early advantage, I don’t like the way this is going. Verhoeven is methodically picking apart the last two witnesses and is doing a great job. Most of us see through it, but we are not on the jury, nor are we unbiased or impartial.

    Still predicting a wash from this trial.

    1. What, no singing? [Top Gun reference] no name calling today?… I think I need a shower.

      Oh by the way, I have a iPhone … but I didn’t inhale. I might still get a 10.1 with a Quad Core processor.

    2. When a defense attorney has nothing else he/she tries to obfuscate the issue. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m not seeing it here. Jury instructions will clarify the issues (design vs function), as will Apple’s summation.

      1. The expert describes what’s in the photo evidence and the cross examination lawyer asks the expert how the camera works.

        Most intelligent people will see through that ruse.

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