We've heard from quite a few experts talking about the design of Apple and Samsung products, but today in court an actual Samsung icon designer took the stand — and stated emphatically the company hadn't copied any Apple designs. Testifying through a translator, Jeeyeun Wang explained that she was a senior designer in Samsung's wireless design team, and had personally selected the green phone icon that Apple alleges was copied from the iPhone.
Wang explained that Samsung designers work just as hard as any Apple designers, explaining that during the three-month period when she was working on the Galaxy S "i slept about two or three hours a night." She explained that she had just given birth at the time, and that she had to spend so much time away from her child that "my recollection was that the breast feeding had to come to a stop."
People found other designs confusing
As for icon design, Wang said several times that she had never consulted Apple's work when creating her own designs, and that Samsung had tried multiple options before landing on the final green phone icon. "Yes, we have tried quite a few different icons," she said. "There were even certain directives coming from up above... for example, we tried an icon that looked like a cellphone with an antenna... then we tried an icon that looked like a smartphone." They didn't work, she explained, because users would confuse them for icons for a game or a calculator — the inference being that the final phone icon decision was dictated by necessity, not malicious copying. She also described how Samsung arrived at its Gallery icon by modifying a wallpaper image of a flower.
During cross-examination, Wang was shown several Samsung documents that had side-by-side comparisons of the iPhone's icons with those from Samsung devices. Apple's attorneys tried to tie Wang to the documents, pointing out that her name appeared as the "custodian" of some of them. Samsung attorney John Quinn later clarified that her name was present because she had actually helped assemble the documents in connection with the trial.
After Wang was shown another internal Samsung document comparing the GT-i9000 icons to the iPhone's — and suggesting Samsung follow a similar direction — Quinn asked Wang who had the final world in Samsung's icon design. "The design team. That's us," she said. And for the authors of the comparison document? "So this group... they can't make decisions for us."