ITC Judge May Turn to Cheech & Chong in Apple/Samsung Case

| News

An ITC judge may turn to comedy icons Cheech and Chong when examining Apple’s complaint that Samsung copied Apple’s iPhone and iPad designs in several of its Android devices. Bloomberg reported that the judge told attorneys representing the companies in opening that the case might come down to what he called the “Cheech and Chong Test,” or more specifically, “Does it look like it, feel like it, smell like it?”

Judges Cheech & Chong

Artist’s Rendition of Judges Cheech and Chong

That’s a reference to sketch the comedians performed where they asked those questions. The judge was too polite to quote Messrs. Marin and Chong more extensively, but the punch line to to the gag is [PROFANITY TO FOLLOW]:

Looks like dog shit, smells like dog shit, feels like dog shit, tastes like dog shit. Must be dog shit. Good thing we didn’t step in it!

Truer words were ne’er spake, surely.

Apple is accusing Samsung of violating its design patents on iPhone and iPad in civil courts in the U.S. and other countries, as well as the U.S. International Trade Commission. Samsung has also accused Apple of violating some of its patents, most of which are standards-essential patents.

Today’s comments came from Judge Thomas Pender, who is hearing Apple’s complaints against Samsung. Samsung’s complaints will be heard in a separate ITC trial later, and both ITC cases are separate from the civil cases being heard around the globe.

An ITC victory, however, will be powerful ammunition for either company in their ongoing battles, and such a win will play a major role in deciding which side is favored in whatever settlement they eventually reach.

In today’s hearing, Apple lawyer Harold McElhinny of Morrison & Foerster said, “Not content to copy the overall design and interface, Samsung has copied the smallest detail of the iPhone. Samsung copied our original and iconic design.”

In other documents and executive statements, Apple has accused Samsung of “slavishly copying” Apple’s designs. Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he would prefer a settlement, but that it is unacceptable for Apple to be, “the developer for the world,” and that he wants for other companies to, “invent their own stuff.”

For its part, Samsung bandied its long history in the telecom industry. In his opening statement, Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven of Quinn Emanuel said, “Samsung has been in this industry, building and innovating to the point where Apple could enter the market. We are anything but an also-ran trying to copy Apple’s technology.”

According to Bloomberg, he also said that a rectangular shape with a wide touchscreen was just one of many form factors being developed by his company before the iPhone. He didn’t explain why those form factors didn’t come to market before the iPhone or why they had to use an operating system, Android, that came out long after the iPhone was released.

Still, he stipulated that, “Samsung is also known for its designs. We’ve been recognized worldwide and compared favorably [to Apple].”

[Image made with help from Shutterstock]

Popular TMO Stories



?Does it look like it, feel like it, smell like it??

Well, the judge certainly got it right by comparing Samsung phones with dog sh*t!! tongue laugh

Bryan Chaffin

Actually, I think it could be argued that he’s calling Apple’s devices that, mactoid, though I hardly think he meant to extend the metaphor to the literal words of Cheech and Chong.

You never know, though!

Lee Dronick

There is a line from one of their movies that always cracked me up “That pendejo judge”

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I interpreted it as him talking about Apple’s contentions. But anyway, how about Oracle’s glorious defeat this afternoon!!!! I got +100 on Engadget for making a crack about Florian the clown. Great day!!

John Molloy

Easy pickings Bosco. If you really want to pat yourself on the back for pandering to the thinking crowd on Engadget, go on, knock yourself out.


Coming from the clown who called the iPad “declining and mostly irrelevant” and predicted the iPhone would drop to 10% market share.  Pot calling the kettle…

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

This clown’s opinions never hurt anyone. Florian’s have. See his Lodsys advice directed at iOS and Mac OS developers who a fanbot in good standing like yourself would presumably support.


This clown?s opinions never hurt anyone.

Actually, you’d be surprised at how painful it is for a lot of us to read what you post sometimes, so your opinions do hurt people!!  grin

Like it or not, everyone has some level of bias in what they say.  Wars have started on biased advice.  Look at our news programs.  If someone blindly follows someone’s “expert” opinion and is hurt by faulty advice, then it is their own fault.  Doesn’t make the person giving the advice anymore of a clown than other people with completely wrong predictions.

So, someone (let’s call him “Fred”) who is researching tablets a year ago stumbles across TMO and sees some guy named Bosco saying how iPad will be “declining and mostly irrelevant” in “about a year” and how android craplets (sorry, my bias showing) like Xoom are going to knock the socks off of the iPad.  So Fred says, “Hey, this Bosco guy seems like a pretty intelligent dude, and he has like 6 STARS, and that moron RonMacGuy only has 4 stars and is obviously biased toward iPad since he has the word “Mac” in his name, and Bosco has his real name in his name, so forget the iPad I am going to buy a cool new Xoom when it comes out, since EVERYONE will surely be buying these things and Motorola will keep making new designs since they will be so successful.”  So Fred buys a Xoom, hates it, sees a few months later that they’ve knocked 32% off Xooms to get rid of the stupid things, and throws it against the wall and says, “Curse you, Bosco.  CURSE YOU.”

Yes, your opinion has hurt people.  No denying it!!


Come on, man, give Bosco a break. He totally “Comet Halley’d” the hell out of the Oracle/Google suit. He won’t be right for another 76 years or so. Let him have his moment of gloat.

I’m just hoping that Samsung references its Chromebox as an example of how they don’t copy Apple. That would be perfect.


If you don’t care to read a poster’s opinions, then just set them to be ignored automatically. Trading snipes with a troll does nothing to improve the level of discourse here.


I’m glad that the judge is taking a basic, no-nonsense approach to this trial. IMNSHO, Apple’s case, in this instance, is rock-solid and incontrovertibly obvious. The Samsung devices that Apple is suing over are clearly copies of the iPhone and iPad. It’s like the scenario of McDougal’s vs. McDonald’s, in the movie ‘Coming to America’. “They have the golden arches, but we have the golden arcs. Their burgers have two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese and onions on a sesame seed bun. Our buns don’t have sesame seeds. Not the same at all!”


I?m just hoping that Samsung references its Chromebox as an example of how they don?t copy Apple. That would be perfect.

Well-spotted, jfbiii.

Samsung’s adamancy of originality and innovation only makes their imitation all the more comical, a fact not entirely lost on even less tech-saturated emerging markets. China’s demonstrated preference for original Apple, even if high-end, products should temper this behaviour, or so one might think. In fairness, this may not extend to offerings from competing companies, but thus far, there is little evidence of similar buzz for both Apple and Samsung products in China.

I have not seen, but would be keen to see, an analysis of Apple and Samsung sales rates or even inventory turnover rates, in Asian emerging markets where both compete, compared to say, Samsung sales, in other regional markets where they do not. (Off hand, I can think of no emerging market where Apple compete and Samsung do not.) If I were Samsung, and those rates diverged unfavourably, i.e. greater than expected, in contested markets, I would want to know why.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account