Mobile

Apple-Samsung: It’s much more complex than ‘copied’

Remember Apple CEO Tim Cook saying that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than his company had imagined? Or the slide deck in which a Samsung product manager reviewed all the ways in which the Galaxy S1 needed to improve based on how iPhone worked?

Turns out that’s not the full story.

Yesterday more court documents from the billion-dollar Apple-Samsung court case appeared. Groklaw grabbed the filings and published significant chunks of them, giving us a fuller view into all the evidence presented. And it’s not as one-sided as the final court judgment and much of the evidence that we’ve seen so far has made it seem.

One example: An internal Samsung document in which Samsung’s mobile division manager compared the difference between Samsung’s user experience and the iPhone as the difference between “heaven and earth.”

Apple, naturally, exerpted that part of the document and presented it to the jury as evidence of copying. No foul, there, of course — any company is going to present their best possible face to the judge and jury.

But when you read the entire thousand-word document, the statement comes off as an acknowledgement that Samsung had a significant amount of work to do to meet the competitive challenge of iPhone … not as a call to copy from Apple.

It’s as if Apple’s passion and prowess at simplification and marketing translated directly into the courtroom, working on the judge and the jury much as it does on consumers, and focused attention precisely where Apple wanted it focused. In fact, according to Groklaw, it’s not simply simplification — it’s distortion.

Samsung’s lawyers’ job was, of course, to reframe the story, illuminate the entire context, and convince the jury that while iPhone was top of mind for Samsung as a threat, it was not the single design inspiration for the Galaxy S3. And that the company followed its own path in created a next-generation smartphone, with a larger screen and different features than iPhone.

They failed.

Many people, however, are hoping that Samsung will get a second chance in an appeal. If so, you can bet that the company’s lawyers will have analyzed the reasons for the initial loss and will be better prepared for a second trial.

photo credit: the|G|™ via photopin cc


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