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"Shocked" Apple claims Samsung "copied the iPhone"

18 Nov 2013

“I was quite shocked. They went and copied the iPhone.”

These were the words of Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller, when asked of his first impressions of the Samsung Galaxy S.

Taking to the stand during Apple's blockbuster patent retrial with Samsung, Schiller's 11 minutes in front of the court were spent accusing the South Korean firm of weakening the Apple brand.

“It weakens the view that the world has for Apple,” Schiller told US District Judge Lucy Koh.

"The presence of a similar-looking product caused consumers to question our innovation and design skills in a way that people never used to.

"As this [infringement] has been occurring, it's harder for us to get new customers and bring them into our ecosystem.

"[The Samsung Galaxy S] looked exactly like the iPhone, so much so that people might confuse it."

Speaking for the second day as a key witness during the case, Schiller was unwavering in his belief that Apple's industry rivals  infringed Cupertino's design and technology patents - essentially making it harder for the company to sell both iPhones and iPads.

Yet despite Schiller's insistence, Samsung attorney Bill Price hit back during questioning, asking: “Apple doesn’t own a patent on a product being beautiful or sexy. Isn’t that correct?

“Apple doesn’t own the right to preclude the design of this hardware,” said Price, holding up a Samsung tablet.

When shown a Samsung Galaxy 10-inch Galaxy Tab, Schiller claimed the device "looks like an iPad", before claiming; “I don’t know which Samsung devices are allowed to copy our devices and which ones aren’t."

iPad mini

Yet in a dramatic courtroom flip, Price seemed to score a crucial victory with the accusation that Apple actually copied Samsung when it came to producing a smaller tablet.

Directing the jury to emails between Cupertino executives discussing the introduction of a smaller tablet following positive reviews of Samsung's seven-inch Galaxy Tab, Price questioned Schiller on whether Apple responded to and copied the successful idea of its rivals.

"The iPad mini wasn't about the competition," Schiller claimed. "One is copying. The others are not copying as much."

Both parties are expected to offer closing arguments on Tuesday but with Apple demanding US$379m in damages and Samsung only offering $52m - it would appear the biggest patent dispute in history is far from over...

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