Internal Emails Reveal Google Warned Samsung Not To Mimic Apple’s Devices

Harold McElhinny, a lawyer representing Apple, yesterday displayed an internal Samsung e-mail to the jury, revealing that Google asked Samsung to change the design of its phones and tablets to look less like Apple’s devices, reports Bloomberg. The e-mail detailed minutes from a design meeting that was sent to “pass along only a few comments from Senior Designer Cho who went into the Google meeting”. “Since it is too similar to Apple, make it noticeably different starting with the front side,” the email said referring to one of Samsung’s tablets.

According to the source:

During a cross-examination yesterday, McElhinny asked Samsung designer Kim Jin Soo if he recalled two e-mail exchanges in 2010 at Samsung about Google’s request.

Kim, speaking through an interpreter, denied he was aware of it.

“Whether that is a fact or not, I cannot confirm that for you, and whether such statement was made, if it was the official position of Google, or by someone made” at a different level of the company, “I don’t know such things,” Kim said.

A second e-mail, dated Feb. 22, 2010, was sent to more than 30 Samsung employees.

“I am notifying you of the team leader’s directives from the executives’ meeting yesterday,” the message begins. The sixth item on the list addresses a need to “respond to the issue of design similarity for the S series,” which Kim testified was a reference to Samsung’s S series of smartphones, some of which are at issue in the case.

Samsung is trying to persuade the jury to declare Apple’s patents invalid and to find that it is Apple who has infringed its patents. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, who is presiding over the case, yesterday said both sides face risks in a jury verdict, and urged the CEO’s of both companies to talk once again.