Apple delivered its opening statement in the Apple v. Samsung trial this morning, and Samsung followed promptly thereafter, laying out its case that it was already headed in the design direction that the iPhone brought to market in 2007 — and that the utility patents Apple is claiming were infringed may not even be valid in the first place.
Samsung counsel Charles Verhoeven stressed numerous times to the jury that Apple had not told the entire story, and that Samsung was a company that prided itself on providing consumers the products that they want — and if consumers want touchscreen devices, that's what the company would provide. "Samsung is a major technology company that develops its own innovations," he told the 9 jurors, stressing that Samsung is a company that competes — and not copies — in the marketplace.
An email about the "Jony" design made an appearance
Going through Apple's design patent claims, Verhoeven showed multiple examples of minimalist, sleek devices that were either designed, demonstrated, or revealed prior to the introduction of the iPhone — what Samsung had previously termed Apple's "black rectangle problem." He also framed Samsung's teardown of Apple's products — and some shifts in design — and matters of inspiration rather than reproduction. He also showed the jury an email to Jony Ive discussing the Sony-inspired phone design Apple had put together in 2006 as an example of Cupertino following the same kind of behavior.
Another early Apple prototype made an appearance, with Verhoeven bringing out the actual "035" iPad prototype as a visual aid for the jury. Samsung is alleging that the thick device was the inspiration for Apple's '889 design patent, but that it bears little resemblance to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in real life.
Samsung showed three examples of prior art for pinch-to-zoom
Older devices and prior art were a major component of the defense Samsung revealed, as Verhoeven went through Apple's utility patents one by one, claiming other companies had previously invented the technology described in each. Apple's '915 patent covers touch scrolling and pinch-to-zoom, but Samsung showed no less than three different examples of similar technology being employed — from a 1998 patent by Nomura, to a MERL-developed system called Fractal Zoom, to Jefferson Han's famous multi-touch demo at a TED conference back in 2006.
Prior art from LaunchTile and Microsoft were shown in connection with the '163 tap-to-zoom patent, and several examples were demonstrated with the "bounce-back" feature as well. One system in particular, also developed by MERL, was called Tablecloth. In the demonstration, a user was able to scroll from one computer desktop to a second desktop below; after scrolling past the second desktop, the display would bounce back to the original.
The company's legal team closed by disputing Apple's claim that it hadn't registered its standards-essential patents properly — according to Samsung, the company was not required to disclose its patents to the standards body at the time given their confidential nature — while vigorously defending the viability of its patents in general. The jury looked calm and steadfast throughout both presentations today, but with testimony about to begin in a matter of moments, we'll soon be getting a chance to see how they respond to the real details of the case.