Apple’s iPhone spurred a “crisis in design” at Samsung, the Cupertino company alleges, citing an internal document in which Samsung execs bemoaned the “Heaven and Earth” difference in smartphone style. The revelation came as part of design expert Peter Bressler’s testimony in the San Jose courtroom on Monday, the Guardian reports, though Samsung argues that the document’s frantic tone was “hyperbole” intended to motivate employees rather than confirm any sense of desperation.
Bressler had already frustrated Samsung’s lawyers by walking the jury through three Apple design patents, highlighting areas in which the expert believes the Android-based hardware infringes. Samsung’s legal team countered with in-depth examination of individual aesthetic tidbits, prompting Bressler to argue that “this is a level of detail that the ordinary observer would never be interested in looking at.”
In fact, Bressler countered, “the overall impression that the ordinary observer would have of that design, is that they’re substantially the same.” The designer also took issue with Samsung’s piecemeal examination of the different aspects of iPhone, iPad and Galaxy-series elements, suggesting that he did “not believe they should be investigating teeny little details, one at a time” but instead looking at the products as a whole.
Bressler founded the eponymous Bressler Group design company and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania; he is author or co-author of in excess of 60 design and utility patents and has been awarded more than forty times in national design competitions. Previously, he served as president of the Industrial Designers Society of America.
His conclusion played perfectly into Apple’s argument; that is, that Samsung’s design for the Galaxy series is “substantially the same” as that Apple had used. Whether the jury is convinced of that fact remains to be seen.