Top Samsung designer denies copying iOS icons while patent expert says Apple design patents should b

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In continued Apple v. Samsung court proceedings, a top Samsung designer denied copying Apple's icons, and an expert witness said the Cupertino company's design patents should be invalidated due to prior art.

Samsung designer Jeeyuen Wang

Samsung on Tuesday called to the stand Jeeyuen Wang, a senior designer at the South Korean company who gave testimony through a translator, in an effort to counter Apple's allegations that multiple Samsung devices copied the layout and imagery of iOS, reports CNet.

Earlier in the trial, Apple offered internal Samsung documents which compared the iPhone side-by-side with the Korean company's handsets, alleging iOS icons and UI assets were blatantly copied. Wang admitted that she did look at products from other companies, including Apple, but denied stealing the icons outright, saying instead that it was part of the design process.

"I also look at the icons that come up on Web sites or Webs, and airport signing systems, so I'd pay attention to all these things," Wang said.

The designer claims hundreds of people around the world worked tirelessly on Samsung's iconography, adding that she herself was only able to sleep two or three hours a night.

In refuting Apple's copycat accusations, Wang gave specific examples of how the designs of certain icons were decided. She notes the photo app icon seen on Samsung handsets was inspired by a wallpaper image, and not the sunflower icon that appears in iOS.

"At the time, there was a wallpaper that was in the image of flowers for an AMOLED LCDs and everyone in our team kind of liked the image," Wang said. "We had come to a conclusion that we would adopt this image for the icon."

Wang also said Samsung's phone app icon, referred to internally as a "dumbbell," was there before she began work on the project in 2002 and was green because the color had the connotation of "go."

Samsung Icons
Page from Samsung's "Mobile icon design for 2011" document. | Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents


During cross-examination, Apple counsel introduced yet another internal Samsung document titled "Samsung mobile icon design for 2011," which studied the effectiveness of its iconography changes from 2007 to 2011. Included in the document were more comparisons to the iPhone as well as sections titled "Design direction" and "Design approach," the latter of which contained an example iOS guideline that ensures third-party icons remain consistent across the platform. The appendix contained hyperlinks to developer icon guidelines for Apple's Mac OS X and Android.

Apple then brought out the 132-page "relative evaluation report" and asked Wang how the company's phone app icon design changed from a number pad to the so-called "dumbbell" image seen on current handsets. The designer claimed she had never seen the document or the old phone app icon before.

"This is a very confusing icon," Wang said, referring to the calculator-like phone icon. "When I looked at it for the first time since getting here it looked like a calculator to me, so it's hard for me to recognize it as a phone."



Patent expert Itay Sherman

Following Wang's testimony was Itay Sherman, avid inventor and CEO of multi-touch company DoubleTouch, who took the stand to argue against the validity of Apple's design patents.

According to in-court reports from All Things D, Sherman's testimony took shots at Apple's design patents, which he says are functional rather than ornamental. The patent expert also argued a number of alleged prior art claims, including a Japanese design patent from 2005 that bears passing resemblance to the iPhone with its rounded corners, rectangular shape and "lozenge-shaped" speaker.

Sherman said the Japanese property alone should be enough to invalidate two iPhone patents because it ?renders both of these designs obvious,? but brought up another Japanese patent as well as LG's Prada handset to demonstrate Apple's designs are "obvious."

Samsung moved to Apple's iPad design patents, which Sherman also said should be rendered obvious as two alleged prior art designs, the 1994 Fidler tablet concept and Compaq's TC1000 tablet computer from 2002, both share the iPad's thin, rectangular shape with rounded corners. The rectangle shape has been a major argument in Samsung's defense strategy, and Sherman hammered it home by saying the shape of the iPad and iPhone is functional, not ornamental. He explains the design elements of the devices are dictated by the content meant to be displayed on them, like webpages and movies, which happen to be rectangular.

As for the Fidler design, creator Roger Fidler appeared in a brief video deposition directly prior to Sherman's testimony and claimed he showed the tablet concept to Apple in 1994, reports CNet. The publication points out Apple would apply for an iPad-related design patent that same year. Fidler goes on to say that he worked with Apple and a number of other tech companies at the Informational Design Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., to see if his design could be brought to market. The project was ultimately scrapped.

Fidler Concept
Photo of Fidler tablet concept. | Source: Apple v. Samsung court documents


During cross-examination, Apple' lawyer brought Sherman's pedigree into question, saying that he is an electrical engineer and not a designer. In arguing against the Compaq tablet claims, Apple notes the tablet's border design differs from the iPad's monolithic glass facade.

In opposition to Sherman's assertion that the iPad's design is based on function, Apple presented an alternative design example in a teardrop-shaped tablet made by Sony. The iPhone's design patents were also discussed, with Apple's lawyer pointing out small discrepancies in design like the raised button on the LG Prada's front screen.

Apple v. Samsung is set to continue throughout the week with closing arguments set for next Tuesday.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 96
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,700member


    That Fidler tablet looks like a mockup with a newspaper-clipping glued onto the face!

  • Reply 2 of 96


    "The rectangle shape has been a major argument in Samsung's defense strategy, and Sherman hammered it home by saying the shape of the iPad and iPhone is functional, not ornamental. He explains the design elements of the devices are dictated by the content meant to be displayed on them, like webpages and movies, which happen to be rectangular."


     


    Nuff' said...those patents are complete BS

  • Reply 3 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    That Fidler tablet looks like a mockup with a newspaper-clipping glued onto the face!



    Apple lawsuit has no merit..they have never invented anything just copy here and there like anyone else..

  • Reply 4 of 96


    I really don't give a rats ass about the dam Apple vs Samsung lawsuit. Is the technology field so slow these days that the site needs to fill up the pages with the boring legal wrangling between these two companies? Can we get back to reporting on real technological innovations?

  • Reply 5 of 96
    daylove22 wrote: »
    Apple lawsuit has no merit..they have never invented anything just copy here and there like anyone else..

    I'm an Android fan like none-other but that is entirely bullshit.

    They are fully and appropriately credited with reinvigorating (or perhaps even launching) the modern smartphone market. Without them we'd just NOW probably be getting a phone of the caliber of the original iPhone (maybe a bit more powerful but still).

    Maybe they didn't invent the specific tech but their vision has led to some great strides in the tech sector.

    I do not agree with their lawsuits (at least a lot of them) but to deny them credit is either a lie or purposeful blindness.
  • Reply 6 of 96
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    The mockup is close, but no cigar.

    The border is asymmetrical for starters, thicker at the bottom than the top, there also seems to be an indentation on the right hand side, extending from the centre to the top right corner, as it protrudes slightly, it is also not like Apple's design patent.
  • Reply 7 of 96


    "I really don't give a rats ass about the dam Apple vs Samsung lawsuit. Is the technology field so slow these days that the site needs to fill up the pages with the boring legal wrangling between these two companies? Can we get back to reporting on real technological innovations?"


     


    That is exactly why this lawsuit is important. If Apple wins then real technological advances and progress will be much harder to make in America. Sorry to bore you.

  • Reply 8 of 96
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    matt clark wrote: »
    "<span id="user_yui_3_4_1_1_1345010731232_641" style="font-family:'lucida grande', 'Lucida Sans Unicode', tahoma, sans-serif;line-height:18px;background-color:rgb(227,244,255);">I really don't give a rats ass about the dam Apple vs Samsung lawsuit. Is the technology field so slow these days that the site needs to fill up the pages with the boring legal wrangling between these two companies? Can we get back to reporting on real technological innovations?"</span>


    That is exactly why this lawsuit is important. If Apple wins then real technological advances and progress will be much harder to make in America. Sorry to bore you.

    Forcing manufacturers to adopt innovation, rather than imitation will be a good thing for consumers and speed up technological advances and progress as research focuses on bringing something new rather than finding different ways to build the same mousetrap.
  • Reply 9 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post





    Forcing manufacturers to adopt innovation, rather than imitation will be a good thing for consumers and speed up technological advances and progress as research focuses on bringing something new rather than finding different ways to build the same mousetrap.


    In principle this is true, and believe me, I'm the biggest Apple nerd ALIVE (fact) but what Apple is doing here, either by choice or by force of a broken legal system, is not stopping a company from copying their products. What Apple is arguing here is that Samsung should not be able to use any ideas that Apple seems to believe are all 100% new and theirs. And sure, Apple did certainly bring a TON of new stuff to the table with the iPhone but no company ever creates things in a complete vacuum, and ideas are not legal property. After all, Apple themselves uses ideas from other products and companies ALL THE TIME. All companies do. It's just a part of creativity. In fact it's IMPOSSIBLE to make something that doesn't in some way connect back to something else.


    What Apple deserves to be protected from, as does anyone, is straight up wholesale copying. The kind that goes on in asian countries where they literally take products and cast molds from them and stamp out exact replicas. That is what patents were always supposed to protect and it only hurts the industry when they're taken further than that.

  • Reply 10 of 96
    jnjnjnjnjnjn Posts: 588member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post


    In principle this is true, and believe me, I'm the biggest Apple nerd ALIVE (fact) but what Apple is doing here, either by choice or by force of a broken legal system, is not stopping a company from copying their products. What Apple is arguing here is that Samsung should not be able to use any ideas that Apple seems to believe are all 100% new and theirs. And sure, Apple did certainly bring a TON of new stuff to the table with the iPhone but no company ever creates things in a complete vacuum, and ideas are not legal property. After all, Apple themselves uses ideas from other products and companies ALL THE TIME. All companies do. It's just a part of creativity. In fact it's IMPOSSIBLE to make something that doesn't in some way connect back to something else.


    What Apple deserves to be protected from, as does anyone, is straight up wholesale copying. The kind that goes on in asian countries where they literally take products and cast molds from them and stamp out exact replicas. That is what patents were always supposed to protect and it only hurts the industry when they're taken further than that.



     


    Excellent post.


     


    J.

  • Reply 11 of 96
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    They included a hyperlink to Apple's icon design guidelines in their document? That's a bit of a smoking gun isn't it?

  • Reply 12 of 96
    philipmphilipm Posts: 239member


    Apple's big value add is an ecosystem that works relatively seamlessly, not a rectangular shape or a particular design of an icon. Not only is this case without merit (the patents as described mostly fail the obviousness test, and some like design of an icon are more clearly in the copyright than patent space), but they are obscuring the fact of their key competitive advantage by going after Samsung like this. Android fills a different need for people who want more control over what they can run on their device, at the expense of a higher chance of something breaking. That's a pretty clear choice, and I don't see some passing visual resemblance between the two undermining Apple's advantages.

  • Reply 13 of 96
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,700member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post


    Apple lawsuit has no merit..they have never invented anything just copy here and there like anyone else..





    Stay on your meds.

  • Reply 14 of 96
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post





    Forcing manufacturers to adopt innovation, rather than imitation will be a good thing for consumers and speed up technological advances and progress as research focuses on bringing something new rather than finding different ways to build the same mousetrap.




    It's just me, but I don't think this trial has Apple focusing on "innovation". To me, and I'll admit I might just be a stupid idiot not understanding anything (but I don't think I am), it seems that Apple here is focusing on pure marketing.


     


    Now, it's also an interesting question, but if Apple wins, I agree that innovation will be made harder. Just imagine the number of car manufacturers that will have to innovate by making cars with a different number of wheels than four...

  • Reply 15 of 96
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post


    Apple lawsuit has no merit..they have never invented anything just copy here and there like anyone else..





    You mad? Apple is one of the most innovative companies out there.


     


    That Apple lawsuit might not be the best example, but dissing Apple for being "just copiers" is pretty much the most stupid thing you could say...

  • Reply 16 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post


     


    What Apple deserves to be protected from, as does anyone, is straight up wholesale copying. The kind that goes on in asian countries where they literally take products and cast molds from them and stamp out exact replicas. That is what patents were always supposed to protect and it only hurts the industry when they're taken further than that.



     


    Hear hear,  I owned a Windows smartphone, two actually, they were complete rubbish owing to the need to have a microscope to see the text and a stylus to drive the screen - but it was clearly Windows.


     


    Aan iPhone / iPod / iPad IS an Apple product, Apple deserve to be protected from copyists, no matter how large the company doing the copying.  I own a Sony tablet S,  the one with the teardrop shape, it runs Android, it doesn't LOOK like an iPad, it works like a tablet should - but it doesn't clone the iconography representing multiple pages like the Samsung one does on the right with dots to indicate which screen you are on - pure Apple RIP OFF,  if Sony could find a different way of representing without copying, so should Samsung.


     


    BTW if you buy any Apple product you are guaranteed to find the same effort into look, feel and manufacturing quality - which is part of the 'attraction' of Apple products,  its a pity Samsung don't put more effort into Industrial Design for all their other products instead of copying.

  • Reply 17 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post


    In principle this is true, and believe me, I'm the biggest Apple nerd ALIVE (fact) but what Apple is doing here, either by choice or by force of a broken legal system, is not stopping a company from copying their products. What Apple is arguing here is that Samsung should not be able to use any ideas that Apple seems to believe are all 100% new and theirs. And sure, Apple did certainly bring a TON of new stuff to the table with the iPhone but no company ever creates things in a complete vacuum, and ideas are not legal property. After all, Apple themselves uses ideas from other products and companies ALL THE TIME. All companies do. It's just a part of creativity. In fact it's IMPOSSIBLE to make something that doesn't in some way connect back to something else.


    What Apple deserves to be protected from, as does anyone, is straight up wholesale copying. The kind that goes on in asian countries where they literally take products and cast molds from them and stamp out exact replicas. That is what patents were always supposed to protect and it only hurts the industry when they're taken further than that.



    In part, I agree with you. I disagree that Apple is deliberately going overboard to block everybody from everything. No one should forget that long before this trial Apple approached Samsung to try to settle this matter. Nor should anyone forget that Apple did reach an agreement with Microsoft to avoid "cloning". Microsoft of all companies!!!!  Apple has been open to alternatives. IMO, it is Samsung that has been obstructive. Posters to AI in other threads have cited South Korean news reports of Samsung shenanigans that range from the shady to downright illegal. I mean really, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that more than any other manufacturer, Samsung shamelessly copied the iPhone. Ah, but to prove that in a court of law! You yourself wrote, "…or by force of a broken legal system…" I won't judge whether the legal system is broken but I do believe within the rules governing court procedures and how judgements are arrived at, the extreme legal wrangling we are witnessing is unavoidable.

  • Reply 18 of 96
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member


    Isn't it amazing? No one at Samsung copied anything off the iPhone, and yet somehow their product came out so similar.

  • Reply 19 of 96

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lightknight View Post


    Now, it's also an interesting question, but if Apple wins, I agree that innovation will be made harder. Just imagine the number of car manufacturers that will have to innovate by making cars with a different number of wheels than four...



     


    If Apple wins, then Samsung will simply be forced to follow in the path of Sony and Microsoft:  invent their own products and unique designs.


     


    The very existence of the Sony Tablet S and the Microsoft Surface tablet invalidates any and all doomsday scenarios associated with an Apple win in this trial.  


     


    In fact, the Sony Tablet S was showcased in the trial, as mentioned in the article.  It will be entered into evidence.  When the jury looks at the Sony Tablet S and compares it with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, they'll have no choice but to come to the conclusion that Samsung willfully infringed on the Apple design patents.  Remember, Apple used the Tablet S as their own evidence so that implies to the jury that they do not consider the Tablet S to be an infringing product as far as the design patents are concerned.  The jury will most certainly take that into consideration and use this fact to discount the comical Samsung arguments about "rectangles".  Any reasonable person will come to the conclusion that it IS possible to develop a unique design and it IS possible to invent new stuff.


     


    As for the alleged "prior art" evidence, the jury will be out on that but I don't think any reasonable person would come to the conclusion that these non-functional mock-ups are in any way comparable with the iPad and the Galaxy Tab.  The functional tablets that did exist prior to the iPad look nothing like the iPad and the Samsung legal team knows this.  This is precisely why they did not point to any of the functional tablets as part of their defense.  

  • Reply 20 of 96
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,214member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post


    Apple lawsuit has no merit..they have never invented anything just copy here and there like anyone else..



     


    Whatever it is you read before coming here... stop reading it. It's making you say silly things. 

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