Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) said that the business and reputation of the company was damaged by Samsung Electronics (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) by selling smartphones and tablets that imitated the design and technology of the iPhone and iPad, according to report from the Wall Street Journal.
Apple’s marketing executive articulated his opinion during the retrial of damages award in connection with the patent infringement case between the two companies. According to Schiller, he was surprised when Samsung Electronics copied the iPhone. He believed that the South Korean electronics company weakened Apple’s brand.
Schiller said, “I was quite shocked, They went and copied the iPhone. It weakens the view the world has for Apple.” He added that the availability of a similar-looking product led consumers to “question our innovation and design skills.”
Furthermore, Schiller said it is harder to create demand for Apple’s products as Samsung Electronics copied “many attributes of Apple’s products; its designs and features … the very essence of what Apple is about.” He pointed out, “If we don’t have that, we don’t have Apple’s business.”
Samsung lawyer’s cross-examination
During the cross-examination, Atty. William Price, the legal counsel representing Samsung Electronics challenged Apple’s innovation by asking Schiller the question, “Apple doesn’t own a patent on a product being beautiful or sexy, isn’t that correct.” Schiller replied, “The industry does tend to follow trends of products that are doing well.”
Price showed a 10-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab to Schiller and said, “Apple doesn’t own the right to preclude the design of this hardware.” Schiller explained that he doesn’t know which Samsung devices are allowed or prohibited to copy the devices of Apple, but he pointed out that Samsung Galaxy tab looks like an iPad.
In an effort to demonstrate that it is a general practice among technology companies to imitate the successful products of competitors, Price showed an email between the executives of Apple encouraging the company to create a smaller iPad. They highlighted an article wherein a reporter praised the 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab. As a result, Apple introduced the iPad Mini.
In response, Schiller explained that the development of the iPad Mini “wasn’t about competition,” and Apple engineers started experimenting whether it is feasible keep the features of the original iPad on a smaller screen. He added, “We were simply trying to make our product better.”
Apple demands $380 million damages
Apple is seeking about $380 million damages from Samsung Electronics for violating its patents, but the South Korean electronics company argued that it should only pay $52 million. Last year, a jury calculated that Apple should receive $1.05 billion in damages. However, United States District Judge Lucy Koh ordered a retrial on the damages award because the jury made a mistake in its computation of approximately $400 million on the claim.