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Samsung starts making its case at patent trial after Apple rests

Samsung Electronics called its first witnesses, two computer scientists, to attack Apple Inc.’s claimed originality of its software patents at issue in a multibillion-dollar trial in California.

The witnesses in federal court in San Jose on Monday demonstrated technologies resembling and predating Apple’s “rubberbanding” ― the way an iPad or iPhone screen seems to bounce when a user scrolls to the end of a file ― years before the 2007 release of the iPhone.

Benjamin Bederson, a University of Maryland professor, told jurors about his “Launch Tile” invention, a system of 36 tiles, or application icons, in an interface allowing users to zoom in and out and interact with the images. A “snapback feature” permits a user to scroll through the images until the border of the last tile is reached, when it stops. Jurors were shown a video of the program, released in 2004, demonstrated on Hewlett-Packard Co.’s HPiPAQ 1900 pocket personal computer.

“Users don’t have high precision when they’re using this kind of device,”he testified. “This way they only have to get nearby and the system will take them where they want to go.”

Samsung began putting on its case after Apple concluded its presentation of testimony that started July 31. Apple, based in Cupertino, California, sued Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung in April 2011, accusing it of copying patented designs. The dispute is the first to go before a federal jury in a battle being waged on four continents for dominance in a smartphone market valued by Bloomberg Industries at $219.1 billion.

Samsung’s second witness, Adam Bogue, president of Circle Twelve, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, testified about his 2001 Diamond Touch, a table of projected images that can be manipulated with one’s hands. Adding the “table cloth” technology he first demonstrated in 2005 allows a user to pull the projected table back, grab an item and let it “snap back” into position, he said.

The testimony was aimed at countering a series of witnesses Apple called over the last two weeks to try to show that Samsung has copied the design and technology of its iPhone and iPad. Samsung’s lawyers have sought in cross-examination to undermine Apple’s testimony by demonstrating that its own smartphones and tables evolved through competition rather than mimicry.

Apple’s witnesses included its director of patent licensing and strategy, Boris Teksler, who testified that the company’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, confronted Samsung executives in 2010 after they introduced the Galaxy smartphone and that Apple warned against copying the iPhone. Teksler told the jury yesterday that Apple had an “anti-cloning” agreement with Microsoft Corp. 

(Bloomberg)
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