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A former Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) designer told the jury during the company’s patent infringement trial against Samsung that she had analyzed the two companies’ smartphones and found that elements in their user interfaces were “substantially similar.”
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Susan Kare, a graphics specialist who created the images that were used in the original Mac computer when she worked with Apple, said in her testimony on Tuesday that the home icons that depict apps on several Samsung phones infringe an Apple design patent related to a grid of images with text beneath them.
Kare said she had even been “personally” confused on one occasion and picked up a Samsung phone from a table when she actually wanted to make a point about the iPhone to a lawyer, according to the Wall Street Journal. “I would usually think of myself as someone who is pretty granular in looking at graphics and I mistook one for the other,” she said. “In addition to the analysis, I personally had the experience of being confused.”
When asked by a Samsung lawyer during her cross-questioning whether she would agree the icons were not “substantially similar,” Kare said that she did, but thought they used the same metaphors. “It’s not 100 percent different,” the designer said. Kare added that alternatives that “show you can do a design that doesn’t look confusingly similar” include Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry Torch, whose app icon images do not have rounded corners.
A lawyer for the Korean company, Charles Verhoeven, argued that the start-up process for a Samsung phone was markedly different from an iPhone: showing an animated Droid advertisement and a home screen with a Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) search bar before a push of a button brought on the under-question grid display.
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