updated 07:48 pm EDT, Fri August 10, 2012
Stickers cover back of phones, don't obscure brand labeling
Earlier today, Samsung attorneys filed a motion in the Apple versus Samsing patent trial in the District Court of the Northern District of California to "label joint exhibit devices in a manner not obscuring trade dress." Apple is the curator of the joint exhibits, most of which are Samsung-developed smartphones. The devices have large stickers affixed to the backs, labeling the devices as trial exhibits, but not obscuring any branding or device model identification.
The term "trade dress" is legal term that refers to characteristics of the visual appearance of a product or packaging that signifies the source of the product to customers. In the filing, Samsing showed an email from a lawyer at Morrison and Foerster, one of the firms representing Apple, telling Samsung's legal team that Apple wouldn't agree to anything other than full exhibits, and being certain that there would be no juror confusion over trade dress in the matter.
Samsung points to one example, specifically, the Galaxy S Captivate, having a distinct checkered back panel covered by the Apple-applied labels. Patent analyst Florian Mueller says in regards to the stickers and filing that "Samsung's motion makes much ado about nothing, though I would agree that those stickers could be smaller and still serve their purpose."