Today was one Samsung‘s lawyers would probably rather not have lived through, as Apple dished out 132 pages of leaked internal documents from 2010 in the courtroom, during the two companies’ ongoing patent infringement case. The big topic of today’s mudslinging: the original Galaxy S and its TouchWiz icons — which doesn’t surprise me in the least because I’ve always thought the two looked just a bit too similar for my liking.
The photo above looks to be a side-by-side comparison of the two devices’ features, the areas Samsung thought Apple had one-upped them on, as well as the suggested fixes to make the phone reap iPhone-like success. To me, it looks like a, “Hey! Why didn’t we think of that? Now, let’s try our best to copy Apple without making it look like we copied Apple.”
Of course, this dirt forces Samsung to defend itself, which it has attempted to do by calling this a “natural evolution of smartphones with big, capacitive displays, and that the industry would have moved towards an iOS type UI with or without Apple and their mobile OS”. I’d have no problem buying if every bit of evidence in these documents didn’t point to TouchWiz mimicking iOS. Every downfall of the S1 that they could come up with seemed to be fixed by playing off of the iPhone.
The photo above shows directions intended for Samsung’s engineers on how to improve the UI icons and make them “more luxurious”. It also tells them at the bottom to “remove a feeling that iPhone’s menu icons are copied by differentiating design. Of course, this doesn’t prove anything at all, other than that TouchWiz was inspired by iOS. Last I checked, inspiration isn’t a crime, though slavishly copying a manufacturer’s product is. Apple has to prove that Samsung did, in fact, “slavishly copy” the iPhone.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m against Apple 100% in all of this. The majority of patents they’ve already been awarded thus far are simply ridiculous. I mean, really — “rectangular phones”? I’m not quite sure how they won that one, but it is utter bullshit, if you ask me. That being said, it’s hard to deny the facts after seeing these documents. It’s almost like confirmation of what we all knew was true, but didn’t want to hear.
Does this mean the end of the road for Samsung’s case and that they’ll eventually have to cough up fine money to the tune of 2.5 billion dollars while Apple laughs all the way to the bank? This may not be the final nail in the coffin for Sammy, but it definitely doesn’t help their case at all.
We’ll have to see what Samsung’s lawyers have up their sleeves. Until then, lets just hope they’re worth those retainer fees because if not, the Korean electronics maker might just end up feeling the pain.