Dubbed as the patent trial of the century, the courtroom war between Apple and Samsung continues to remain just as nail-biting and exciting as it was when it first started out. As the trial now enters the third week, Apple has rested its case against Samsung, and it is now time for Samsung to present their side of the story to the jury, and to the rest of the world following the trial closely.
Samsung’s testimony in court began with Benjamin Bederson, a computer scientist who is also a professor at the University of Maryland, taking the stand to illustrate how some of Apple’s claimed patented technology were already prior art, existing well before they were patented by Apple. Bederson brought forward “Launch Tile”, an app developed by Microsoft in 2004, which could be used to zoom in and out of screens, including apps and webpages.
During cross-examination, however, Apple’s lawyers shot down the app’s features, as it did not feature the “rubber-banding” element of bouncing back when reaching the end of a list or page. Apple also termed Launch Tile’s zooming feature as a semantic zoom, where zooming-in provided more detailed information, as opposed to Apple’s “pinch-to-zoom” feature.
The next witness called to testify for Samsung was Adam Bogue, a researcher with the Mitsubishi Electric Research Lab, who spoke about “DiamondTouch” – a table-top computer developed in 2001. This device had a touch screen interface and the capability to sense finger movement, similar to the iPhone, and projected visuals from a computer onto a table surface. Bogue claimed that this technology was shown to Apple’s hardware engineers in 2003, and also mentioned that he was made to sign a document declaring that the information he demonstrated was not of a confidential kind.
Bogue then went on to show two applications, “fractal zoom” – an app that allowed users to zoom using multiple finger touches and “tablecloth” – an app that had some “rubber-banding” capability of bouncing back when the user reached the end of an image on the screen. However, Apple’s team countered that neither of these applications were shown to Apple’s engineers. Apple also noted that tablecloth bounced back to the original position of the image, as opposed to Apple’s method of bouncing back to the next closest part on the screen.
In what could even be seen as a minor victory for Samsung, during the trial, it managed to get three phones – the Galaxy Ace and international versions of Galaxy S and Galaxy S II, excluded from the trial, as its sales tallies were not of much consequence in terms of potential impact on Apple’s sales. However, the case continues to focus on the impact of the US versions of the Galaxy S and Galaxy S II.
As Samsung continues to testify to maintain its claims that none of Apple’s patented designs are unique to the company, and existed even before the iPhone and iPad, this case sure seems to be complete action-packed event.