Apple senior VP of marketing Phil Schiller was so concerned about Samsung’s Next Big Thing ad campaign, in which the company poked fun at Apple customers, that he emailed Tim Cook to suggest a change of ad agency to fight back – according to a claim by Samsung lawyer Jon Quinn.

The Verge reports that Quinn made the claim in his opening arguments in the patent trial in which Apple is accusing Samsung of violating five of its iOS-related patents.

Quinn says Schiller became “obsessed” with the campaign, writing CEO Tim Cook to suggest the company look into using another ad agency instead of its mainstay TBWA\CHIAT\DAY. That even led to Apple board discussions over the issue, Quinn added …

Quinn claims he can prove this using internal Apple documents that haven’t before been made public. The documents were likely to have supplied to Samsung by Apple as part of the discovery process in which each side must make available to the other materials which shed light on the dispute.

It’s an interesting tack, suggesting that Samsung may attempt to argue that Apple’s patent claim is motivated by concern over Samsung trying to out-cool Apple. A one-line email by Phil Schiller in reference to a WSJ piece entitled Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung reads simply:

We have a lot of work to do to turn this around.

Apple is claiming that copying the iPhone was part of Samsung’s development process. Schiller is scheduled to be Apple’s first witness once opening arguments are complete.