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Newly released documents suggest Samsung might not be an Apple copycat after all

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:38PM EST

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A nine person jury in August found Samsung guilty of infringing Apple’s (AAPL) design and software patents this past summer, and awarded the Cupertino-based company $1.051 billion in damages. In the months following the trial, Judge Lucy Koh has ordered a number of documents asserted in the lawsuit be unsealed and unredacted. And after sorting through what had to be hours, if not days, of legal jargon, tech law blog Groklaw identified a number of misleading arguments Apple used against Samsung (005930).

Apple’s attorneys used a Samsung internal memo as proof the company blatantly copied the iPhone. Within the memo, Samsung mobile boss JK Shin expressed outrage at how far his company’s user experience had fallen behind Apple’s, noting the difference “is truly that of Heaven and Earth” and Samsung was suffering from a “crisis of design.” Apple revealed that Shin told his designers to “make something like the iPhone,” although the company left out key parts of the quote.

In the internal document, the executive said, “let’s make something like the iPhone. When everybody (both consumers and the industry) talk about UX, they weigh it against the iPhone. The iPhone has become the standard. That’s how things are already.”

Not once does the executive suggest that Samsung should copy the iPhone, but instead be creative and focus on comfort and ease of use.

“Designers rightly must make their own designs with conviction and confidence; do not strive to do designs to please me (the president); instead make designs with faces that are creative and diverse,” he said.

The president did tell his designers that they should do their best “not to create a plastic feeling and instead create a metallic feel,” a design philosophy that is very similar to Apple’s. At the same time, however, he also said that Samsung should focus on larger displays, a feature the iPhone didn’t include until this year.

“Our biggest asset is our screen,” he said. “It is very important that we make screen size bigger, and in the future mobile phones will absorb even the function of e-books.”

None of these statements were revealed during the trial, and instead Apple’s lawyers used bits and pieces of select quotes that ultimately may have mislead the jury and resulted in Samsung’s defeat.

[Via CNET]


Dan joins the BGR team as the Android Editor, covering all things relating to Google’s premiere operating system. His work has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business and Yahoo News, among other publications. When he isn’t testing the latest devices or apps, he can be found enjoying the sights and sounds of New York City.