Apple, Samsung 'like McDonald's and Burger King'

10th Aug 2012 | 22:38

Apple, Samsung 'like McDonald's and Burger King'

Day 7 - Patent infringements extend beyond design, witnesses say

As Apple revealed just how much it's looking to get from Samsung Friday, testimony resumed in the Apple vs. Samsung patent trial after a two-day reprieve.

Hal Poret, a researcher at ORC International and the last expert to take the stand Tuesday, was the day's lead-off witness.

Poret previously testified that Apple's products have taken on a "secondary meaning," where consumers recognize iOS devices - specifically the iPhone and iPad - as Apple products.

A survey Poret took revealed just that, including discovering the shape of Apple devices alone is an identifier for the Cupertino company.

Samsung's attorneys attempted to poke holes in Poret's methodology but were repeatedly shut down.

Survey says...

Next up for Apple was Kent Van Liere, a market researcher who conducted two studies comparing Samsung devices to Apple's.

In his first study, Van Liere showed participants images of Samsung's Fascinate and Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch.

BlackBerry's Storm was used as a control device.

Van Liere asked survey participants if they associated the Samsung devices with any other. Fifty-two percent named Apple when they saw the Fascinate and 51 said the same for the Sii Epic 4G Touch.

Just 14 percent associated the Storm with an Apple smartphone.

In Van Liere's second study, he tried to measure if the "accused devices" confused consumers when seeing them operate in everyday situations.

Participants were shown a video of someone using either Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1 with Samsung markers or sans branding.

As a control, this test used a video of the Nook Color in similar situations.

Forty-three percent made an Apple association after viewing the unidentified tablet. That number dropped to 30 percent when participants saw the branded tablet.

Based on the numbers from both surveys, Van Liere concluded there was enough evidence to suggest consumers mistake Samsung devices for ones produced by Apple.

Price's picking apart

Samsung attorney Bill Price, who also went after Poret's work, wasted no time tearing into Van Liere's methods.

He asked the expert witness why he didn't use other tablets as a control too, like Motorola's Xoom.

Van Liere answered that he didn't want to use "[products] that infringes."

Price asked whether Apple believes Motorola also infringes on Apple's patents.

An objection by Apple's legal team was sustained.

Price wouldn't leave without making one more point: Apple and Samsung are like McDonald's and Burger King - each is so big in their industry, consumers are bound to confuse one with the other.

The 'rubber band effect'

Following Van Liere was Ravin Balakrishan, a computer scientist, University of Toronto professor and another Apple witness.

The $430-an-hour testifier began by describing his research on the "rubber band" effect, the visual effect that happens when an image on a screen bounces or snaps back when users scroll to the "end." It's this effect that many phones utilize to tell users when they've hit the bottom of the screen.

The effect is important to user interface for smartphones, Balakdrishan said, because more scrolls are required for smaller screens.

According to Balakrishan, Samsung has infringed on Apple's rubber band patent. In fact, Balakrishan's examination of Samsung models found 21 are in violation of Apple's patent.

During his testimony, Apple attorneys showed yet another internal Samsung report on the iPhone, this one saying the effect "generates fun" for the users and suggests the "fun effect" needs to make it's way into Samsung's line.

Although Samsung attorney's got Balakrishan to admit it's possible to get the bounce effect without a patent violation, he maintained it has to be different. Samsung's, Balakrishan said, isn't.

Some of the South Korean company's applications have an anti-rubber band effect, called "hold still," where the image leaves and doesn't come back, but the computer scientist said the bounce back effect still exists in other apps.

As with nearly every Apple witness, Samsung got Balakrishan to reveal how much he's getting paid to testify.

Balakrishan said Apple's retained him for nine cases in recent years, racking up $500,000 in that time.

Finger patent finger pointing

A colleague of Balakrishan's was next on the bench. Karan Singh, another computer science professor at U of T, immediately said 24 Samsung products violate an Apple technology patent that lets a finger gesture resize an image on screen.

He put another figure into perspective later: according to Singh, Samsung devices infringe 1/3 of patents covering the tap gesture on iOS devices.

Singh also testified Samsung violates Apple's patent on the technology that differentiates between single finger scrolls and double finger gestures.

Before Apple's finished with the $450-an-hour Singh, counsel showed another internal Samsung report recommending the double tap gesture and using the iPhone "as a design benchmark."

How much would you pay?

Marketing professor John Hauser was Apple's penultimate witness.

Another survey taker, Hauser did surveys to determine is Samsung consumers would pay a "substantial" premium for features at issue in the case.

According to his research, consumers said they would pay $100 extra for the smartphone features that are part of the trial and $90 extra for tablet features.

Shock value

Last up was Boris Teksler, director of patent licensing for Apple.

"We were shocked," he said of Apple's reaction when Samsung introduced "copies" of his company's devices.

According to Teksler, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook took their complaints straight to Samsung and his company entered into licensing talks with the company - an apple supplier - that eventually stalled.

Apple's lawyers, who have used over 11 hours of there 25-hour trial time, said they'll likely wrap their affirmative case Monday.

Via The Verge and San Jose Mercury News

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