After execs from both companies could not come to terms in an attempt to settle, both Samsung and Apple take the stand in a San José, Calif., court room this week. Apple and Samsung will face off for allegedly stealing each other’s patents. Apple also claims that Samsung’s Galaxy devices “slavishly” copied its beloved iPhone and iPad. The same type of trial already played out in many countries across the pond. It will be interesting to see where this all goes, especially after the injunctions against Samsung’s products we have already seen.
Samsung Chief Product Officer Kevin Packingham recently sat down with the folks at Wired to answer a few questions on the recent legal matters, shedding more light on Samsung’s view of the whole legal fiasco. First off, Packingham answers a question regarding the separation between Samsung’s component business that supplies necessary parts to Apple and the product team that Apple thinks is a bunch of copycats. Packingham answered: “There are times when I’m absolutely appalled that we sell what I consider to be the most innovative, most secret parts of the sauce of our products to some other manufacturer — HTC, LG, Apple, anybody…But you know, we also use Qualcomm components, and we source from other component manufacturers as well.”
Apple, of course, gets a ton of parts from Samsung, and it even partnered with Samsung on a factory in Texas to make A4 and A5 chips for the iPhones and iPads.
The interviewer, Wired’s Nathan Olivarez-Giles, asked a great question about patents (the focus of the trial). Olivarez-Giles asked: “It seems most of the patents that Samsung is either licensing to other folks, or using against competitors in patent suits, are related more to technology than design — 3G technologies and other wireless technologies, for example. But what’s used against Samsung most often focuses on design. Does Samsung just not have a ton of design patents? Or is it just impossible to patent a rectangular piece of glass with a touchscreen, which every smartphone and tablet has today, and is under dispute in the Apple trial?”
Then comes perhaps the greatest response from Packingham in the whole piece, which really captures what I believe is Samsung’s collective view on the entire patent litigation: “It’s unreasonable that we’re fighting over rectangles, that that’s being considered as an infringement, which is why we’re defending ourselves.” What a punch at Apple.
The interview goes on to address the current state of the patent system and Samsung’s steps at making sure a new product does not come under legal attack from other companies. Of course, we have heard time-and-time again Apple’s view on the matter. Chief Executive Tim Cook went on record as saying the patent war is a “pain in the ass.” You can read the full interview at Wired.