In the second patent infringement trial Samsung is trying to prove that its success is based on marketing and that allegedly copying Apple didn’t give it any benefit.
Apple and Samsung’s second bout in court over patent infringements is well underway in San Jose, California. As a reminder, the first trial ended in Apple’s favour with Samsung being ordered to pay over $930 million in damages. In the second court case between the two companies Apple now claims that several Samsung devices infringe on five patents and it is demanding over $2 billion in damages. Samsung has filed a countersuit alleging that Apple infringes on two of its patents with most of its iPhone and iPad products. Samsung is also trying to prove that some of the features it is alleged to have copied were actually developed by Google first.
Slide-to-unlock is one of the patented features that Apple accuses Samsung of copying. During proceedings on Monday, Apple’s legal team called Youngmi Kim, a senior UI designer who has worked on Samsung’s user experience team since 2004, to testify. “Absolutely not,” Kim said, when asked if Samsung had copied slide-to-unlock from the iPhone. She added that if the company was to work on the same thing as Apple, it wouldn’t give Samsung any advantage in terms of differentiating its product, “so that would not make any sense.”
Todd Pendleton, Samsung America’s chief marketing officer, was then called to testify. He said that when he joined the company in 2011 it had a major branding problem as far as smartphones were concerned. Pendleton says that prior to Joining Samsung he didn’t even know it had a smartphone lineup.
“I think people knew Samsung for televisions, but in terms of smartphones, there was no recognition for what our product was or what it stood for,” he is quoted as saying in court.
Over the past few years Samsung has spent billions on advertising and marketing. The results are quite evident: it has overtaken Apple as the biggest smartphone vendor in the world. Samsung has often targeted Apple products and customers in its campaigns, the most notable of which is “The Next Big Thing” campaign. These ads worried Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller so much that he called upon the company’s longtime ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab to come up with something better.
Winding up its long list of witnesses on Monday, Samsung also called Google engineers once again to testify that certain features it is being accused of copying are actually core features of Android OS. This marks the second time that Samsung has leaned on Google talent to prove that it hasn’t infringed on Apple’s patents. Previously one of the first members of the Android team testified that Google’s mobile OS didn’t ripoff any features from the iPhone.