Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably been following the ferocious legal battle between Samsung and Apple. Despite a guilty verdict, new documentation has revealed that Samsung may not have told its designers to copy the iPhone.
Documents that were initially redacted during the trial have been released in their full form, and what is contained within them is disheartening. While early reports surfaced claiming that a Samsung executive told the company’s designers to “make something like the iPhone”, the actual document quotes the senior executive as saying, “I hear things like this: Let’s make something like the iPhone.” When everybody (both consumers and the industry) talk about UX, they weigh it against the iPhone. The iPhone has become the standard. That’s how things are already.”
Unlike previous accusations, there is no actual wording to suggest that Samsung intentionally copied the iPhone. Instead, the executive lamented that in order to be successful, “you must think at least six months ahead; be the solution to the problems that related departments come looking for. Be people with creativity. Designers rightly must make their own designs with conviction and confidence; do not strive to do designs to please me (the president); instead make designs with faces that are creative and diverse.”
Samsung clearly defends its “original” industrial design in the statements above, going on to state, “our biggest asset is our screen. It is very important that we make screen size bigger, and in the future mobile phones will absorb even the function of e-books.” However, the company did admit that at one point its team faced a “a crisis of design,” as it told its designers to “do their best not to create a plastic feeling and instead create a metallic feel.”
So, if Samsung clearly touted its much larger display as a differentiator from a branding standpoint, how could the jury accurately conclude that it purposely copied the iPhone? It’s believed to be the way that Apple’s lawyers presented the evidence that swayed the jurors’ opinions, neglecting to bring up important evidence and selecting minuscule pieces of what would obviously favor the Cupertino-based company.
Regardless, there will undoubtedly be more drama in the legal battle, as things aren’t expected to cool off anytime soon.
Source: CNET, Groklaw