Is Apple too fond of Photoshop? The company was accused of manipulating Galaxy Tab images in its German trial, and now once again the same issue has popped up in its legal battle with Samsung in the US.
"Samsung accused Apple of tampering with the icon layout of one of its phones to look more like the iPhone," reports The Verge. Apple presented an image of Epic Touch 4G which shows the icon layout to be similar to that of the iPhone. Samsung objected that the image doesn't represent the 'out-of-the-box' state of the phone. The company presented it's own photo of the phone which clearly demonstrated a completely different layout.
The Judge Koh did not like that objection and instead asked the legitimation of Samsung's image. She raised questions like: "Why does your homescreen not show the Google search box when you're telling me the phone has the Google search box." She also pointed that while Samsung said the image was taken yesterday the screenshot shows a different date. She then overruled Samsung's objection.
That's interesting as the focus of the issue shifted to the 'date' when the photo was taken and why Google is missing from the home screen instead of whether Apple manipulated the image or not.
I think the judge may have been mistaken about what has to be on that phone's home page, or she just has negative ideas about Samsung.
As PJ of Groklaw points out, "I think the judge may have been mistaken about what has to be on that phone's home page, or she just has negative ideas about Samsung. Or maybe everyone is feeling too much stress. I have three photographs to show you from doing a simple search on the Web, three of that very phone with no Google Search box and one with it. Apparently it varies. Nobody is doctoring anything. It's just a lack of tech fu in this picture."
Groklaw gave links to some popular sites which covered Epic Touch 4G.
The judge probably owes Samsung's lawyers a public apology for impugning their integrity in a public courtroom.
Groklaw further said, "If the Verge's account is accurate, the judge probably owes Samsung's lawyers a public apology for impugning their integrity in a public courtroom."
Palmela Jones of Groklaw further adds:
I am sure, by the way, that Apple's lawyer, Michael Jacobs, would never doctor anything either, just because we watched him for years in the SCO v. Novell case, and he was totally honest and above-board at all times, even when it was not advantageous to him and his side. Unless there has since been some Faustian bargain, which I'd never believe without absolute proof, or someone else on the team did it, knowingly or inadvertantly, I think everybody just needs to calm down, Samsung, Apple and the judge.
She further writes:
...I'm sure Judge Koh won't be reading Groklaw. But if she did, she'd make fewer technical mistakes, methinks. As for law firms, they need more technically knowledgeable people. Judges too. Seriously. And someone needs to think about what this all means -- who decides which icons go on the phone? Is it the mobile phone companies, by any chance? If so, I see implications. Legal implications. I mean, if the accusation by Apple is that Samsung's icons are infringing Apple's trade dress or trademarks because there are the same number and/or they are arranged the same way as Apple's on the iPhone, hence confusing customers, and if it isn't Samsung doing the arranging or the choosing, now what happens to that claim? I can see implications for any damages too, even if Samsung were found liable.