Apple: Google Warned Samsung It Was Copying iPad

Apple plans to argue in court that Samsung’s own internal communications show that Google and other third parties had warned Samsung that the companies Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1 were “too similar” to Apple’s iPad. Apple alleges that other documents show that even Samsung found it “regrettable” how much the Galaxy S resembled the iPhone.


The Samsung Copier

TMO Artist’s Rendition of Apple’s Argument

“Samsung’s documents show the similarity of Samsung’s products is no accident or, as Samsung would have it, a ‘natural evolution,’” Apple argued in a court briefing uncovered by AllThingsD. “Rather, it results from Samsung’s deliberate plan to free-ride on the iPhone’s and iPad’s extraordinary success by copying their iconic designs and intuitive user interface. Apple will rely on Samsung’s own documents, which tell an unambiguous story.”

Apple claims it can prove that in 2010 Google warned Samsung that prototypes for the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1 were “too similar” to the iPad. The search giant, which also makes the Android operating system that powers those devices, supposedly demanded, “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad for the [Galaxy Tab 10.1 prototype].”

Samsung also reportedly sponsored an evaluation by outside designers who told the South Korean electronics giant that the Galaxy S “look like it copied the iPhone too much.” The designers told Samsung that “innovation is needed.”

Potentially more damning is the line, “[the Galaxy S] closely resembles the iPhone shape so as to have no distinguishable elements. […] All you have to do is cover up the Samsung logo and it’s difficult to find anything different from the iPhone.”

We say potentially more damning for a number of reasons. The first is that context is king. Apple is pitching this evidence in the most favorable light possible. Samsung’s attorneys will be doing their best to either dismiss the relevance of this evidence or recast it in a way that is more beneficial to their clients.

Secondly, is it relevant what third party designers told Samsung? Maybe, but that will an issue for Judge Lucy Koh to decide. Thirdly is any counter evidence that Samsung can provide that either outweighs Apple’s evidence or somehow counters it.

In other words, it wouldn’t be wise to look at news reports of the evidence that Apple said it will present and conclude that the company has a slam dunk case against Samsung. This case is massively complicated and includes all manner of claims and counter claims from both firms.

Other recent news to come out of the Apple v. Samsung battle includes information about standards-essential licensing terms, and a fun image that Apple put together to encapsulate its argument that Samsung copied Apple’s designs.