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Samsung trots out ’90s tablet against Apple

Samsung lawyers continued their aggressive defense against Apple Tuesday in their landmark smartphone trial, assailing Apple on patent infringement, prior art and their designs.

To open Tuesday’s courtroom action, objections from Intel over testimony concerning their code forced Samsung to redo the order in which it is calling witnesses to counter Apple’s claims of infringement and to attack Apple based on asserting Samsung patents.

“This is going to be another weird day,” Judge Lucy Koh told the jury after Samsung was done talking with engineer Dr. Clifton Forlines about the Diamond Touch Table he helped develop.

Samsung shifted gears to attack by questioning Dr. Woodward Yang, an electrical engineering and computer science professor at Harvard, about the Samsung patents that Apple products were infringing upon.

Dr. Yang testified Apple violated Samsung’s patents on emailing photos after taking a picture of them on a smartphone and playing music on a smartphone while performing other tasks.

Apple argued that the Samsung patents were not in use for any of 65 different Samsung smartphones. Samsung disclosed a series of steps for infringement at Apple’s request, and Apple argued that no one had ever actually performed the steps necessary for the infringement.

With the jury excused for lunch, Apple wanted Samsung to bring in an actual version of Roger Fidler’s tablet mockup, which Samsung claims is prior art rendering Apple’s design claims invalid.

Through a video deposition, Samsung showed the tablet mockup design created by Fidler, who was working in the 1980s and 1990s for Knight Ridder to demonstrate the future of newspaper reading.

Fidler wanted to create a stylus-free touchscreen tablet, but Knight Ridder was uninterested in manufacturing one, and Fidler did not work on touchscreen technology, so the Fidler tablet did not get past the mockup stage.

The final design would have had a “thin form factor,” which Fidler noted was anything less than an inch thick. The touchscreen glass would have been flush with the edge. Memory cards and a stylus would have been inserted into the device to remain hidden from view, thus creating a form factor very similar to the iPad.

Fidler declared to the court that Apple personnel were exposed to his tablet prototype and concepts in the 1990s. During that time, Apple was actively developing an overly-ambitions series of handheld tablet computers under the Newton MessagePad name.

Koh allowed Samsung to only present video and pictures and told Apple to bring up any issues in cross-examination.

After the break, Samsung called Galaxy i9000 designer Jeeyuen Wang to talk about the Galaxy’s user interface design and how it did not copy Apple’s. Through an interpreter, Wang talked about working with her design team for three long months:

“I slept two hours or three hours a night. That was it.”

Wang also testified, in front of Samsung counsel John Quinn, that she was also unable to properly breast feed her newborn baby.

Like Samsung suggested during Apple’s expert testimony, Wang spoke about how Samsung used universal considerations for the icon design and denied that Samsung copied anything from Apple, adding:

“We tried to develop something that represented the characteristics of Samsung.”

To establish that Apple’s designs were “obvious,” Samsung called DoubleTouch CEO Itay Sherman to the stand.

Sherman evaluated two Japanese design patents, one Korean design patent, and the LG Prada design against Apple’s D’677 and D’087 design patents. Sherman concluded that the combination of designs rendered Apple’s designs obvious and therefore unpatentable.

Sherman made the same obviousness determination for the D’889 tablet design patent by combining the Fidler reference and the Compaq HP TC1000 tablet.

Apple lawyer Rachel Krevans jumped on the flaws in Sherman’s background and report. Sherman admitted he is not an expert in industrial design as all of the patents he invented are utility patents.

Sherman also admitted he did not see the actual Fidler mockup but said the full images and video were enough to see any small details. Apple pointed to alternative smartphone and tablet designs like the Sony Tablet S to demonstrate to the jury that alternative designs made Apple’s designs nonobvious.

Before adjourning for the day, Koh told everyone the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial is approaching. The trial resumes Wednesday morning and will continue Thursday and Friday. Closing statements are expected next week.

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