Samsung May Have Not Tried to Copy the iPhone

Previously unavailable documents presented to the judge in the Apple vs Samsung court case suggests that there was no solid evidence that the Samsung told its designers to copy the iPhone.

Groklaw uncovered the fuller version of Samsung's internal documents where a senior executive at the firm who presided over internal meetings apparently said, "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 exec added. "The iPhone has become the standard. That's how things are already."

While Apple stressed that Samsung told its designers to copy the iPhone, a document reveals that wasn't exactly the case: "To everyone, he said you must think at least six months ahead; be the solution to the problems that related departments come looking for. Be people with creativity."

Groklaw further showcases notes from the same meeting which states:

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.

There is, however, a mention of "a crisis of design," where Samsung says, "In regards to exteriors, do your best not to create a plastic feeling and instead create a metallic feel." Sure, that does sound familiar to the iPhone, but the meeting also discusses a component that is showcased in the Galaxy S3:

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.

Groklaw then suggests that Apple's legal team could have been selective in regards to the presentation of some of the aforementioned evidence to the court; Apple may have chosen to focus on the segments that implied Samsung did copy the iPhone. Apple allegedly didn't, however, showcase the segment where Samsung asked its designers to be creative.

Ultimately, Samsung may not even have to pay the $1 billion in damages due to its request to get the case dismissed because of the jury foreman's history.


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  • halcyon
    Go Samsung. Make an SGS4 that the makes the world stop and look with envy.
  • Ragnar-Kon
    Of course they didn't copy-pasta the iPhone. Why would they copy something that already exists?

    That said, they probably did take ideas from the iPhone, changed it around a little bit, and incorporated it in their own product. But every company does that. The Ford Focus and the Chevy Cruze are very similar cars, and they provide the same basic functions. The designers/engineers probably even looked at each other's product and took ideas from each other. Yet they aren't suing each other left and right.

    Not that I can necessarily blame Apple or Samsung for suing each other. I'd blame the patent laws in the US (and other countries around the world) before I blame either Apple or Samsung.
  • jojesa
    When Samsung exec said: "I hear things like this: Let's make something like the iPhone."

    Apple lawyers presented: "Let's make something like the iPhone."

    So the judge and jury just saw phrases taken from document papers. How about reading the whole darn files.