Christopher Stringer was the first of many expert witnesses to come to the trial and tell the court about who is right and who is wrong and which company has actually copied the others designs. Stringer has been a designer at Apple since 1995 and has his name on many of Apple’s design patents including the iPhone. Stringer was also amongst those people who helped design the iPhone among many other Apple products. During his testimony, Stringer described the whole process of design and how something that does not exists, comes to life at Apple.
“We work together around a kitchen table,” Stringer said. “We have our lives all around the products. In some ways it feels like a small company.”
Apple called upon Stringer to discuss the beginnings of the design of the iPhone, which Apple claims Samsung copied. “We’ve been ripped off, it’s plain to see. It’s offensive,” Stringer said of Samsung’s accused devices. “It’s a huge leap of imagination to come up with something new, that’s something we did. By which you have to dismiss everything you know, forget everything you know, it can be difficult.”
He further added that, “if you pay attention to the competition, you end up following, and that’s something we didn’t want to do.”
During Stringer’s cross-examination by Samsung, Stringer pointed to the fact that Apple used summaries of specs and design sheets from competitors, and Stringer had requested one of these summaries before an industrial engineering brainstorming section. He added that, it was all because the team was “very interested” in the dimensions other companies were using. However, it was not an inspiration for him or for any other designer for the new products of the company.
Stringer added other details to his testimony including where a device was pointed out which looked like iPhone but had iPod written on its back. To which Stringer responded with the following statement, “We wanted to see something graphically on the back, or we were trying to disguise its iPhone identity.”
As this trial carries on in August, more testimonies will come, which will help the jury to decide who copied whose designs and who is to be blamed.