Apple exec: We told Samsung it was a copycat in 2010

Apple's director of patent licensing and strategy says the company approached Samsung in 2010 to confront it about infringing on its patents.

Josh Lowensohn
Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
2 min read

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- We know where the fight between Apple and Samsung is right now, but how did it really begin? Apple laid out at least part of that story in court here today.

On the stand was Boris Teksler, Apple's director of patent licensing and strategy, who went over slides brought to a private meeting with Samsung on August 4, 2010, a few months after the release of the first iPad.

"Steve Jobs and Tim Cook called Samsung executives to meet with them," Teksler recalled.

The presentation, entitled "Samsung copying iPhone," detailed various ways Apple believed the Android application framework, and by proxy Samsung, had copied key features found in Apple's smartphone. That includes more than 20 patents, from touch to menus and widgets that Apple said were being infringed.

Teksler admitted that he was not at the meeting, but learned about it from former Apple chief patent counsel Chip Lutton, who was his manager at the time. Under cross-examination, Teksler also acknowledged that the presentation made no mention of design patents, or any trade dress claims -- serious issues also at play in the ongoing trial.

Two months after the meeting Apple then approached Samsung with "a number of options for obtaining a cost-effective license to our patent portfolio," though some of those patents were limited. That included Samsung's smartphones, which Apple said could "not adopt distinctive industrial design, software platforms, or feature sets."

With that said, Teksler opened up his testimony by saying that the company had a special group of patents that it does not share with others. Called "Apple's unique user experience intellectual property," Teksler said these these could most easily be explained as "that which makes our brand identity and keeps us in the marketplace."

Even so, the company has shared them with a select few.

"I can count them on one hand," Teksler said, referring to number of those patents it had licensed to other companies. "We do so with rare exception knowing we're not enabling someone to build a clone product."

Perhaps we'll get more details on that next week, when the trial picks back up with Teksler on the stand.

Inside Scoop: Apple and Samsung duke it out
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