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Schiller claims Samsung made people 'question' Apple design

updated 03:12 pm EST, Fri November 15, 2013

'Weakens the view that the world has for Apple'

Samsung infringement of Apple patents made it harder to sell the iPhone and iPad, Apple's head of worldwide marketing, Phil Schiller, claimed earlier today in a second day of testimony at the Apple v. Samsung damages retrial. Asked by an Apple attorney what he thought when he first saw the Samsung Galaxy S, Schiller said: "I was quite shocked. They went and copied the iPhone." He went on to suggest that Samsung's past copying "weakens the view that the world has for Apple," and has caused people to "question our innovation and design skills in a way that people never used to."

During cross-examination, Samsung attorney William Price noted that Apple "doesn't own a patent on a product being beautiful or sexy," and added that the company "doesn't own the right to preclude the design" of something like the Galaxy Tab he was holding in his hand. "I don't know which Samsung devices are allowed to copy our devices and which ones aren't," Schiller responded. Price then asked if Samsung had the right to sell the Tab, to which Schiller said that it "looks like an iPad."

The attorney pointed out that technology companies typically try to mimic successful products. As evidence he referred to an internal Apple email, in which an executive forwarded an article about the 7-inch model of the Galaxy Tab, and urged the rest of the company to consider a smaller iPad; Apple ultimately released the iPad mini in 2012. Schiller, though, insisted today that the Mini "wasn't about the competition," suggesting it began as an experiment to see if engineers could preserve iPad features in a smaller size.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    Quote: He went on to suggest that Samsung's past copying "weakens the view that the world has for Apple," and has caused people to "question our innovation and design skills in a way that people never used to."

    Few did that. Almost everyone knows it's easier to copy than to create. Most have a different set of thoughts.

    1. Similar products from other companies mean more competition and lower costs.

    2. Why patent user interfaces when in many cases the scheme is obvious. Imagine how terrible the first cars would have been if someone had patented round steering wheels and brake petals. We'd be steering with clumsy square wheels and braking, belatedly, with a stick.

    3. Having a similar UI means we don't waste time and feel clumsy when we pick up someone else's products. We like all cars to drive much the same, bikes to ride the same etc.

    At times, I wish we settled disputes like the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes did. Let the CEOs of Apple and Samsung meet in a village square and fight it out, one on one with the winner of the fight declared the winner of the dispute.

  1. RockoBoffo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-12-13

    The idea that pinch to zoom isn't obvious - is wrong.

    What happens is engineers tend to come up with the same ideas to solve problems - but one person is granted an exclusive monopoly on that obvious idea.

    Then sometimes - most of the time even, those patents are invalidated by prior art, but occasionally, one gets through and is not invalidated - and when that happens it harms innovation - it never helps it.

    Now suddenly you can't implement something thats obvious because of this arbitrary granting of a patent to someone who works at a big company usually that can keep playing this patent game.

    We don't need software patents - not ever.

    We do need copyright - but not patents.

  1. xomniron

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-17-13

    I owned 2 Palm Treo not-so-smart phones -- big, clunky, physical keyboard, stylus, limited apps with limited usability. The iPhone changed EVERYTHING -- thin, wonderful touch control without a stylus, virtual keyboard, and ALL the rest. Apple did it, Samsung stole the idea. Pinch to zoom was NOT obvious until Apple did it on the first iPhone. I do agree with Rocko, however. Software can be protected via copyright.

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