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Apple Expert Peter Bressler's Testiomony Starts To Cumble Under Cross Examination

by on07 August 2012 2151 times
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We told you that as soon as we had access to the cross examination of Peter Bressler we would bring it to you and now we have that. It is exactly what we expected. Bressler was not thorough in his examination of Phones and picked the details he wanted to highlight while skipping over many that might counter his claims. This is despite his claims to the court that as an Industrial designer he was trained to identify the small details. Samsung’s questioning found those inconstancies and narrowed down on them quickly including one or two contradictions.

According to some reports Apple presented Bressler as an expert on Industrial Design, but also claimed he was experienced in designing phones (Apple introduced him that way). We did some fact checking and found that Bressler has never designed a working product. This detail was hit upon quickly by Charles Verhoeven early in the questioning when he asked Bressler about the number of phones he had brought to market or indeed actually designed. The number was of course zero for both and only six design concepts had even made it to mockup stage.

It’s all about the details -

As we said before Bressler claimed that as an industrial designer he was trained to identify the little details that make up a design. This mimics Apple’s claims that Samsung’s infringement is in the details of the design. You might remember that Apple Lead Designer Christopher Stinger made this comment when he testified about the iPhone design. In his testimony he claimed that the iPhones “equally rounded corners” were part of the overall aesthetic and was chosen because it was a beautiful design. His statement is also echoed in the actual patent.

Now we told you that Bressler reviewed the patents, looked at the diagrams and then inspected the Apple phones that were covered by it. Well,… it seems that he did not do the same thing to the Samsung phones as he completely missed the fact that the Galaxy (which is one of the phones he testified is infringing) does not have equally rounded corners. During the cross examination he had to admit that he did not measure the corners on the Galaxy phone which will bring his whole examination into question and should put some doubt into his expertise with the jury.

Bressler later became very frustrated when he was asked to back up his claims of infringement with details stating “You're frustrating me in the level of detail you're asking about”. This would appear to be an odd statement coming from someone that is trained to spot the details, and who’s own website claims that is what they do (differentiate products through design details). It is also odd considering that Apple has maintained (as we have said) that Samsung slavishly copied the iPhone and iPad. Bressler became more furstrated later with the comment "You're asking me to compare peanut butter and turkey" Verhoeven asked him which was which... Bressler did not answer.

Still the most damning item in the cross examination was when Verhoeven asked about the four buttons that are common at the bottom of Android devices. Bressler stated he did not test them and did not know what they were for. This is a critical mistake in his inspection and testimony as those buttons are a key design feature in almost all Android products and exist on Samsung phones (including the Galaxy). Bressler had to admit that he was not an expert in the operational functions of phones, but only on the function of design patterns. This limits his expertise quite a bit and as we have already mentioned makes his claims less substantial.

As we told you before look for these tactical moves in the remainder of the trial. Samsung will continue to chip away at Apple’s claims moving forward and we are honestly not sure that Apple is prepared to deal with this. We would assume their attorneys are, but so far from the information we have it looks like this direction was unexpected and is throwing some of Apple’s plans into disarray.

Still we called it after Samsung released the “banned” evidence to the press; the legal team behind Samsung appears to have a much better grasp of tactics than Apple does at this point. We were not surprised to see the number of ambushes that Samsung has setup and we would expect to see more.

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Last modified on 07 August 2012
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