In what seems like a small success step for Samsung, Judge Lucy Koh has rejected Apple’s demands for sanction against Samsung for releasing evidence that was excluded from the trial. Apple had initially requested the judge to penalize Samsung for disclosing evidence against Apple’s infringement claims to the media. According to Apple, Samsung’s actions were to be considered as “bad faith litigation misconduct”.
Apple had originally argued that the release of this information by Samsung could potentially mislead the jury. While judge Koh certainly made her displeasure with Samsung evident, after interviewing the jurors individually regarding the impact of this released evidence, decided to drop her plans to take action against the South Korean manufacturer. Four of the jurors had admitted to seeing these reports, but indicated that it would not affect their ability to stay impartial through the trial proceedings. Over the course of trial, Samsung stuck by its claim that the disclosure on their part was lawful and ethical as the information was already accessible to the public.
The third day of this high-profile trial saw Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller present his testimony in court. Schiller provided a detailed account of the marketing and sales strategy the company had decided upon for selling its iPhones and iPads, all from the perspective of showcasing the “product as hero”, having spent over $1 billion in marketing these products.
Schiller then went on to recount how surprised he had been when he saw Samsung’s competing products and how similar in form they looked to Apple’s products. Schiller has claimed in his testimony that the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S phones has caused a loss in sales of iPhones and iPads in the market, and that when he saw the Galaxy Tab 10.1, his fears of Samsung copying Apple’s product line entirely grew considerably. In his words, “They’re just going to copy our whole product line”.
Apple’s senior vice president of iOS, Scott Forstall, also testified on the same day, and explained the level of secrecy that engineers who were working on the iPhone, under the codename Project Purple, were expected to maintain. Scott also admitted that Apple conducted extensive studies of the competitors’ existing products in the market, especially to improve antenna design and avoid incidences of call dropping.
While Apple and Samsung are slugging it out against each other in international courts across Europe, Australia and now the US, the American trial is expected to have the maximum impact. So far, there are mixed results and neither firm has obtained a stronghold victory against the other.