Samsung chips away at Apple experts

In front of a jury barely following along with the expert testimony, Apple continued its trade dress and patent infringement case against Samsung in court Friday.

Once again, Judge Lucy Koh needed to interrupt witness testimony to remind the jury they could get caffeine if they needed it.

Friday was especially hard because Apple brought computer science experts in to talk about Apple’s software patents.

The morning started with Samsung attorney Bill Price continuing his previously unfruitful cross-examination of survey expert Hal Poret.

Poret had used the Blackberry Storm as the control in a consumer confusion survey to prove Apple’s smartphone and tablet products had achieved recognition necessary for the trade dress claim.

When Price said people could tell the Storm is not an Apple product, Poret responded:

“That’s not fair to say.”

Poret told Price he was wrong in concluding that Poret did a second survey to stack the results in favor of what Apple wanted. Poret had conducted two surveys on the iPad tablet, and the second had an angled view not covering up the Home button like in the previous survey.

Furthermore, the control product, the Nook tablet, had the N button exposed, so Samsung argued customers could have easily told the difference.

Apple called another survey research expert Kent Van Liere to explain his survey’s result of post-sale consumer confusion. Apple lawyer Michael Jacobs asked Liere about the study in which people were shown a video of someone using a Samsung smartphone or tablet and asked if they identified it as an Apple product.

Liere concluded that there was substantial consumer confusion between the two companies’ products.

In cross-examination, Price argued that if someone saw Coke, they would most likely think of Pepsi since the two are the biggest players in the soft drink market. Therefore, it was common sense that Apple and Samsung’s products would have a similar relationship because the two tech companies are the biggest players in the smartphone and tablet market. In response Van Liere told Price:

“I don’t know that from common sense as you described it.”

Apple moved onto its software patent by calling two University of Toronto computer science professors, Ravin Balakrishnan and Karan Singh. Balakrishnan testified about Apple’s bounce back effect that made scrolling through a list or electronic file intuitive on a touch screen interface.

Samsung counsel Kevin Johnson responded that Samsung’s user interfaces would freeze instead of bouncing back and pointed out that Balakrishnan had served as Apple’s technical expert for nine cases. Balakrishnan has earned about $600,000 on the case against Samsung alone.

Singh, who had not previously served as a patent expert, talked about Apple’s zoom and center functionality. He entered a heated exchange with Samsung lawyer Ed DeFranco because Singh said Samsung’s video demonstration of the tablet user interface in action was improperly conflating scrolling and gesturing to try and show Samsung was not infringing.

“We’re going in a circle here,” Koh interrupted at one point to get DeFranco to move on to another topic of discussion.

Lastly, Samsung revealed that Professor Singh has been earning $450 per hour as an Apple expert and has worked on the case between 150 and 200 hours.

In a surprising change of events, Apple forced Samsung to spend a significant amount of time cross examining Dr. John Hauser, an MIT marketing professor. Jacobs spent five minutes talking to Hauser so that Apple could get admitted into evidence Hauser’s survey about what consumers would pay for premium patented features.

Price used a lot of Samsung’s time to get Hauser to actually explain the results of the survey, even though Hauser told Price that he had told enough to Jacobs so that the jury could understand his research. At one point Hauser told Price he was trying to help, but Price responded, “Oh, I don’t know about that” to the entertainment of the court.

This time Hauser brought up common sense, but Price countered that Hauser was not an expert in that. When the issue of compensation came up, Hauser told Price he was charging $800 per hour, but he would need to ask his wife how much he had earned so far.

Monday morning, Apple is set to finish its case and allow Samsung to present its defense.

The morning will start with the cross examination of Boris Teksler, Apple’s Director of Patent Licensing and Strategy. While Teksler told the court that Jobs and Cook had personally met with Samsung executives in 2010 to try and stop Samsung from copying Apple’s designs, Samsung attorney Victoria Maroulis pointed out that the presentation used in relation to the meeting did not talk about Apple’s unwillingness to license the patents involved in this case or any references to the design patents being discussed now.

Apple has used 11-1/2 hours of its trial time, while Samsung has used 12. Judge Koh has allowed both sides 25 hours each to present their cases to the jury.