Yesterday saw Samsung try and argue that Apple’s patents are invalidated by prior art, and a Samsung employee took the stand to claim that she hadn’t looked for inspiration from Apple icons, only to be shown a document, with her name on it, that discussed Apple icons.
In addition, lawyers for Intel got involved in the Apple v Samsung battle yesterday when it emerged that Samsung’s expert Tim Williams didn’t disclose his potential conflicts of interest when granted access to Intel source code. Williams has signed multiple nondisclosure agreements that prohibit him from discussing the particulars of Intel’s source code.
Apple and Intel tried to block Williams from testifying just hours before he was due to take the stand. Judge Lucy Koh agreed that Williams would not testify as scheduled and asked for more information before deciding on whet should happen. She said: “I want to see papers. I don’t trust what any lawyer in this courtroom tells me,” reports AllThingsD.
Later in the day Intel’s lawyers said that the company would seek sanctions and a contempt finding against Samsung but is no longer looking to keep him off the witness stand. Judge Koh said that she was never going to keep him off the witness stand.
On with the case
First to testify was Clifton Forlines, an ex Mitsubishi employee was the first of Samsung’s witness on Tuesday. He was testifying about the DiamondTouch system first discussed on Monday. Samsung is trying to prove that various features of the DiamondTouch represent prior art, invalidating Apple’s patents.
Harvard computer science professor Woodward Yang was next. He was testifying that Apple has violated three of Samsung’s patents. The patents include sending an email with a photo (7,577,460); bookmarking a photo so you can return to the same place in the photo album (7,698,711); and playing music in the background (7,689,711).
Questioning Yang, Apple lawyer Bill Lee referred to the other Samsung inventors who were in town recently. This gave Apple’s lawyer a chance to mention the fact that certain Samsung executives are in town, but unable to testify in court. Lee didn’t challenge the patents directly, but he did note that Apple’s devices don’t meet terminology found in the patents. Lee also noted that Samsung isn’t using two of the patents at issue in its recent products.
No, we didn’t copy Apple’s icons…
Next up was Samsung’s user experience designer Jeeyuen Wang who testified in Korean via an interpreter. She testified that she did not copy Apple’s icons when designing the Galaxy Tab’s iconography.
Wang claimed that Samsung considered a number of possible phone icons but settled on a traditional phone handset image because it is what resonated best with users.
When asked whether it was true that she hadn’t referenced Apple’s icons Wang said: “Yes, that is correct”. Unfortunately for Wang, Apple’s lawyer was able to produce another damning Samsung document with her name on. This document called ‘Mobile Icon Design for 2011’ discusses the importance of icon design and compares icons from the iPhone and other technology products, notes AllThingsD’s Ina Fried.
Wang also revealed the tough working schedule at Samsung, claiming that she was sleeping two or three hours a night and had recently given birth but couldn’t breastfeed due to the demands on her time.
Next up was a video testimony from Roger Fidler who created prototype tablets that could be used for displaying newspapers. Some of his prototypes have similar features to the iPad.
Itay Sherman, who was at Texus Instruments and is now CEO of DoubleTouch, was called up to help Samsung’s argument that Apple’s design patents should be invalidated because of the existence of prior art and also because the patents are for features that are not just ornamental but functional in nature.
Sherman referred to a number of patents that existed before the disputed Apple patents. In attempting to render the iPhone-related patents invalid, he referred to a couple of Japanese design patents and a Korean patent for the LG Prada phone. One of the Japanese patents, issued in 2005, is for a rectangular shape with rounded corners and an earpiece at the top.
Sherman pointed to the Fidler tablet design discussed earlier, as well as Compaq’s TC1000 tablet, in his attempts to disqualify the iPad-related patents.
He also noted that the iPad and iPhone patents relate to functional elements. He pointed out that patents are “not intended to protect functional elements”. With regard to Apple’s patented rectangular displays, he said that a rectangular display is functional because it’s the best way to view movies and web pages.
Samsung got a quick mention of an email between Apple’s Jony Ive and Richard Howarth into the proceedings. The email mentioned that rounded corners might be preferable to an “extrude” design. They also briefly mentioned the fact that Apple looked at Sony phones when working on designs, but Samsung is bared from mentioning anything more about their claims that Apple was influenced by Sony when designing the iPhone.
In questioning Apple’s lawyers elaborated on the differences between the Compaq and Apple tablets, and noted that Sherman had only seen a video of the Fidler tablet and a replica of the prototype.
Apple’s lawyers argued against Sherman’s claims about the rectangular design being functional, saying that there are alternative designs that would work, and showing a Sony tablet that has a rectangular display, and rounded corners, and yet doesn’t look like an iPad.
Regarding the LG phone, Apple’s lawyer noted that it doesn’t have a completely flat front screen. He also noted that Samsung smartphones that were introduced in 2008 and 2009 had different designs to the iPhone and the later Galaxy devices. Apple’s lawyer also showed off smartphones (from Nokia and Casio) that differ from Apple’s design patent and Sherman admitted that they had different designs to Apple’s patent.