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Samsung attacks Apple's claim of marketplace confusion

An Apple expert acknowledges that even if Samsung's products are similar enough to Apple's to confuse consumers, it doesn't necessarily mean Apple's sales are harmed.

Apple's experts are set to testify that many of Samsung's products, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1, are so similar to Apple's, there's confusion in the minds of consumers. Samsung argues that even if true, it doesn't prove Apple's sales are harmed. Bonnie Cha/CNET

Expect Samsung lawyers to hammer away at Apple's claims today that the Galaxy and other devices were so similar to the iPhone and iPad that they confused consumers.

In documents filed with the court, Samsung said that even Apple's own experts are acknowledging that confusion between Samsung and Apple's devices, if it exists, doesn't automatically mean Apple's sales are in any way harmed.

Apple has accused Samsung of violating the patents behind the iPhone and iPad in a lawsuit filed last year. Samsung responded by suing Apple for patent infringement. If Apple wins, the company won't just get an edge on Samsung, but will also likely have an important precedent in its hip pocket in ongoing legal battles with other Android-powered rivals, such as HTC.

Apple has hired Kent Van Liere, an expert in market research, to testify about a survey he conducted that concluded consumers are likely to associate some of Samsung's product, including the Galaxy Tab 10.1, with Apple's in a post-sale environment.

Samsung argued in documents filed with the court that Apple draws too many conclusions from Van Liere's research.

"Dr. Van Liere did not disclose any opinion in his expert report dated March 22, 2012 that the results of his post-sale confusion survey showed a likelihood of dilution of or an association with the alleged iPad trade dress," Samsung wrote to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. Additionally, when questioned in his deposition, Dr. Van Liere specifically stated that his understanding was that 'association as it relates to dilution is a different concept than likelihood of confusion. Those are two different concepts.'

Apple hasn't responded to this accusation yet but we're sure to hear more about this from the court proceedings. Josh Lowensohn, our Apple beat reporter, is in the courtroom and will file updates throughout the day.

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