Samsung accuses Apple of infringing three of its patents in iDevice designs

Macworld Australia Staff
15 August, 2012
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Samsung has accused Apple of infringing three patents in the design of its iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as the patent trial between the two warring companies continues in San Jose, California.

Samsung called its fourth witness – Harvard professor and patent specialist Woodward Yang – to the stand in court today to testify against Apple, alleging that the tech giant had stolen three patents owned by Samsung, detailing portable device usability features, including photos, email attachments and playing music in the background

Yang told the court he spent between 300 and 400 hours analysing Apple devices for the trial, claiming that several models of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch infringe on Samsung’s patents, according to court reports from CNET.

In a series of patent claims, Yang first demonstrated a photo emailing patent by showing Apple’s iOS devices sending photos taken of an orange, saying the technology was designed with feature phones in mind, eliminating the need to connect the device to a computer to upload the photos. Samsung argued that its patent had been infringed by Apple’s use of integrated photo sharing options.

In its second photo-based patent allegation, Samsung claimed a photo album patent as their own, whereby a user is able to bookmark a photo for later viewing. Yang demonstrated the same feature on the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPad 2 and fourth-generation iPod touch, to show how Apple had employed the same design.

In its third and final patent claim, Samsung identified a software function allowing users to play music in the background, while accessing other open apps. Yang said the concept of the Samsung-owned patent for the claim was to enable simultaneous playback of music with the use of other applications. He also said the feature ensured the portable device stayed compact by avoiding implementing ‘decoding hardware’ to facilitate the feature.

Apple lawyer Bill Lee then cross-examined Yang,  referring to a page from Samsung’s comparison report of the iPhone and the then-unfinished Galaxy S, arguing that Samsung had studied Apple’s use of email attachments when designing the Galaxy smartphone.

“In your 400 hours of work, you have not found one iota of evidence that Apple knew about the ’893 patent, or copied the ’893 patent,” Lee declared, referring to the photo album feature. Yang responded, saying the assertion was true.

For a day-by-day account of the Apple v Samsung trial and all the in-court drama, see here.

@grace_robinson_

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