Samsung challenges expertise of Apple’s expert witness

“Samsung attorneys drew a bead on Apple’s claims about the uniqueness of its iPhone design Monday, with stronger counterclaims about preceding designs or ‘prior art,’ citing three patent applications that preceded the iPhone,” Charles Babcock reports for InformationWeek.
“Lead Samsung attorney Charles Verhoeven also highlighted some surprising differences between Samsung smartphones and the iPhone, differences that a key expert witness for Apple seemed unaware of. On the Samsung Galaxy S 4G, the rounded corners aren’t rounded equally, as the iPhone’s are, Verhoeven pointed out,” Babcock reports. “He asked key Apple witness Peter Bressler, an expert on industrial design, if he had noticed how much the top corners are a tighter curve than the bottom corners on the Galaxy. If part of a circle, the top corners would have a radius of 10 centimeters; the bottom, 13 centimeters, he said. ‘I couldn’t dispute your measurements,’ Bressler responded. ‘I haven’t measured the corners’ on the Galaxy, he testified.”

Babcock reports, “But he came closer to drawing blood when one of his detail questions about a Samsung design elicited an inadvertent or unexpected response from Bressler. In evaluating one Samsung design, he said he didn’t spend time inspecting and couldn’t explain the four buttons at the bottom of the phone’s face, a common element of Android design. ‘You’re not an expert in the (operational) functions of a smartphone? I thought I just heard you say that,’ Verhoeven said. ‘I’m an expert on the function of design patterns,’ said Bressler. Verhoeven: ‘Did you actually use any of those buttons?’ Bressler: ‘No, not as part of my understanding of the design of the phones.’ …Verhoeven charged that Bressler had reached his conclusions that Samsung infringes based on “a thin layer” of surface design-only analysis.”

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