Samsung's 'Crisis of Design' Memo Enters Patent Trial as Early Apple Designer Testifies on Confusion

The dispute between Apple and Samsung continues to play out in U.S. court, with Apple working its way through its list of witnesses as it seeks to convince a jury that Samsung has infringed upon patents and designs related to the iPhone and iPad.

Among the interesting developments yesterday was the admission into evidence of an internal Samsung memo acknowledging that the company had suffered a "crisis of design" after the introduction of the iPhone, with Apple's lawyers arguing that the memo is evidence of Samsung's strategy to shift gears and copy the iPhone's design. AllThingsD has more on the memo:

It’s a memo that Samsung didn’t want admitted into the trial, and until now had kept it out. But this morning, when Samsung legal counsel John Quinn mentioned the “crisis of design” moment in a question to Samsung strategist Justin Denison, all bets were off, and the memo was in.

“Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.”

apple samsung logos
Today has seen early Apple designer Susan Kare on the stand testifying based on her expertise in user interface and icon design. The Verge is providing live updates on Kare's testimony in which she is expressing her belief that Samsung's products and user interfaces are confusingly similar to the iPhone. In support of her testimony, Kare notes that even she was confused during a pre-trial meeting about her role as an expert witness in the case, mistakenly picking up a Samsung phone when she was attempting to reach for an iPhone.

It is my opinion that the overall collection of graphic features that makes the overall visual impression could be confusing for a consumer. Partly I base that on my visual analysis. Partly, I remember when I was at the law firm about being a expert witness in this case there was a big conference table with many phones on it... I could see the screen and went to pick up the iPhone to make a point about the UI graphics, and I was holding a Samsung phone. I usually think of myself as someone who is pretty granular about looking at graphics, and I mistook one for the other. So, I guess in addition to my formal analysis I had the experience of being confused.

Cross-examination of Kare has primarily focused on walking through granular details of differences between Apple's and Samsung's icons, where Kare has admitted some differences. Samsung followed a similar tactic with Apple's previous expert witness in industrial design, Peter Bressler, with Apple's witnesses acknowledging some differences between Apple's and Samsung's products but emphasizing their belief in the overall impression being similar enough to cause consumer confusion.

As Apple moves through its witness list that was headlined last week by Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall, Samsung will be preparing to bring its own experts in to provide testimony arguing against Apple's claims that Samsung copied Apple's designs and intellectual property. Samsung has repeatedly tried to call into question Apple's claims that Samsung did not shift to its current design aesthetic until after the introduction of the iPhone, and will certainly seek to press that point as the case continues.

Top Rated Comments

Peace Avatar
108 months ago
Crisis. Ha !

So samsung decided to simply mimic the iPhone icons too.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/12/08/06/court_documents_allegedly_show_samsung_copied_iphone_icons.html







Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Peace Avatar
108 months ago

In 2004 Nokia released the 7710, have a look at these icons:

Image (http://thenokiandtech.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/nokia-7710.jpg)

Still think Apple's are original?


If you can't see the obvious difference then just wow.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LagunaSol Avatar
108 months ago

My guess is the Fandroids will find a way to discount Samsung's own admissions.

Ta da! Didn't take long:

It's already gone on record that "crisis of design" is a common phrase over at Samsung. So it in itself is not damning.

Riiight.

And the icons which were posted here are a ridiculous proof point. The green phone icon has long been the icon of choice way before the iPhone. And in a very similar way.

How many ways can you show an address book? Notepad?

Yes, of course Sam, and the only way to represent music is with a pair of blue or purple eighth notes overlaid on the image of a CD. :rolleyes:

Smell the desperation.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sbrhwkp3 Avatar
108 months ago
If Samsung isn't guilty of patent infringement, they're definitely guilty of not going very far out of their way to be different. :apple:
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Uncle David Avatar
108 months ago
My guess is the Fandroids will find a way to discount Samsung's own admissions.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LagunaSol Avatar
108 months ago

In 2004 Nokia released the 7710, have a look at these icons:

Image (http://thenokiandtech.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/nokia-7710.jpg)

Still think Apple's are original?


Um, I think you need to turn your computer display on. You obviously can't see what you're posting.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
xlK6MS4MLqVFaskl

iFixit Shares iPhone 12 Pro Max Teardown Revealing L-Shaped Battery and Bigger Camera Module

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:53 am PST by
In the last of its iPhone 12 series teardowns, iFixit has published its iPhone 12 Pro Max disassembly, which reveals some unique differences in the design of the internals, including the full extent of the larger camera system responsible for the improved low-light performance on Apple's largest iPhone to date. On opening the iPhone 12 Pro Max, the first obvious difference compared to the...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...