updated 07:45 pm EDT, Mon August 6, 2012
Refers to Apple as 'heaven' while other phones are 'earth'
An email from Samsung managers alerting the company to a "design crisis" following the launch of the iPhone in 2007 is perhaps the strongest indication yet that Samsung, as Apple has contended in the current trial, began willfully copying Apple's design ethos -- and the evidence was ironically introduced by a Samsung executive. Justin Denison, the chief strategy officer for Samsung's US branch, showed off the internal memo that described the difference between the iPhone and then-current phones as "heaven and earth."
While Denison tried to characterize the memo as "hyperbole" that was typical for the company to use to "energize" its employees and intended to show off Samsung's competitiveness and pride, Apple lawyers pounced on the document over the numerous objections of the Samsung team, all of which were shot down by Judge Lucy Koh, who told Samsung that Denison's reference to the email "opened the door" for Apple's use of it, report AppleInsider.
The full quote from the email, likely translated from Korean, goes as follows: "All this time we've been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide ... yet when our [product] is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple's iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It's a crisis of design." Samsung and other companies' smartphones prior to the iPhone tended to look completely different in form and functionality, though a handful of designers, including Samsung, were starting to experiment with more advanced designs.
When asked by Apple attorney William Lee if there was in his view a difference between competing "fairly and squarely" and copying another company's intellectual property, Denison said there was. On Friday, Denison was forced to acknowledge a number of reports from Samsung (some of which he created) that showed detailed, side-by-side comparisons of Samsung's Galaxy S and Apple's iPhone, along with presentations that had titles like "Beat Apple response strategy" and "recent Apple analysis project."
When asked if Denison could provide a similar "crisis in design" type document referring to anything Nokia produced, the Samsung exec admitted he couldn't. [via AppleInsider]