According to a report published recently, a Samsung lawyer couldn’t tell the difference between a Galaxy Tab 10.1 and an iPad 2 at a hearing in US courts earlier this week.
The news comes from Reuters – a reputed global news agency – in a report in which they discuss a US judge’s statement on how Samsung’s Galaxy tablets do actually infringe upon Apple’s patents while adding that Apple needs to “establish the validity of its patents”. In one part of the report, the reporter mentions how a Samsung lawyer couldn’t tell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from an iPad 2 held 10 feet away.
Koh [US Judge] frequently remarked on the similarity between each company’s tablets. At one point during the hearing, she held one black glass tablet in each hand above her head, and asked Sullivan if she could identify which company produced which.
"Not at this distance your honor," said Sullivan, who stood at a podium roughly ten feet away.
"Can any of Samsung’s lawyers tell me which one is Samsung and which one is Apple?" Koh asked. A moment later, one of the lawyers supplied the right answer.
Now we can either spend the rest of this post dissing Samsung and their “terrible” lawyers like other blogs, or we can discuss some of the logical reasons why this may have happened.
There are two things our readers must understand: a. the two tablets were held ten feet away from the lawyer (an appreciable distance) and b. both tablets are, well, tablets and all tablets are basically black rectangles i.e. they do not have novel designs (just like TVs).
Holding similar gadgets ten feet away and not even having their screens on would most definitely make it difficult to differentiate one gadget, in this case a tablet, from another. I’m sure that even I, someone who lives and breathes gadgets, would have some trouble with it.
However, I would’ve certainly gotten the answer right in the end, because I know that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is wider (16:10) while the iPad 2 is not (4:3). I also know that the iPad 2 has a home button while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 doesn’t. As a lawyer fighting for Samsung in a software + hardware design legal battle, he should’ve been able to tell one tablet from another but he couldn’t and we’ve just told you why. We, then, think people should go a little easy on the lawyer.
Thankfully, this story doesn’t have a horrible ending. Another one of the lawyers did manage to get the right answer, saving Samsung from further embarrassment.