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Samsung Launched Its Own Smartphones with a Similar Design

Apple’s global marketing chief has told a court how his firm’s job became much tougher after Samsung  launched its own smartphones with a similar design.

Schiller told an eight-person jury that Samsung’s infringement of five Apple patents in 13 of its products – determined in a case last year – has cost the company dearly in lost sales.

Apple wants $380 million from Samsung, while Samsung is arguing that $52 million is a reasonable figure.

“It has been much harder to create demand and people question our innovation and design skills in a way they never used to,” Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, told the eight-person jury under friendly questioning from an Apple attorney.

He said that uniqueness was key to Apple’s values and the company would have had more success had Samsung not have drawn on elements of Apple design in developing its phones.

On Thursday, the court heard from Apple witnesses who asserted the company would have sold about 360,000 more iPhones if it wasn’t for the infringing Samsung products, and have subsequently lost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Samsung lawyer Bill Price told the jury that consumers would have bought Samsung products regardless of the infringement.

He displayed an internal Apple email chain – that didn’t include Schiller – and discussed what “firsts” Apple could claim for the iPhone.

In the emails, Apple employees pointed out that it wasn’t the first full-screen touch phone or the first with multitouch functionality. The court was again shown a clip from a 2006 TED talk in which multitouch pioneer Jeff Han demonstrated one of his screens.

Regarding tablets, Schiller was asked about Apple’s original resistance to smaller versions of the iPad. The court saw an internal email chain between himself and Apple executives Tim Cook, Eddy Cue and Scott Forstall that discussed a press report on the benefits of smaller tablets – at the time on sale by competitors – and Schiller was asked if the iPad Mini was a response to the competition.

“It was all about us trying to make a great product for our customers,” he said.

Schiller tried to play dumb to the majority of Samsung’s questions. When asked about the limits of Apple patents, he said he wasn’t an expert in patents. When asked if Apple had done surveys on the strength of its brand, he couldn’t recall them. And when asked about external surveys, he said he wasn’t sure how often Apple bought them and relied upon them.

He described to the jury how Apple came to develop the iPhone, calling it a “bet-the-company product” that could have bankrupted Apple had it not been a success. And he relived the “electric” atmosphere at Macworld Expo 2007 when he used the iPhone to chat with late Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the phone’s global unveiling.

He also recalled his first response to seeing both the Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

“Wow, they completely copied the iPhone. It was completely astonishing and shocking to me,” he said.

And in response to the tablet, “This was another example of Samsung copying Apple products.”

The message to the jury was clear: Apple had risked everything on a successful product that redefined the mobile phone industry; in reaction, Samsung had figured out what consumers liked about it, and copied its best parts.

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Schiller: Samsung Completely Copied The iPhone