* Original Mac icon designer says Samsung phones confused
* Overall impression of 11 phones and the iPhone was similar
By Edwin Chan
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 7 The focus of the courtoom
battle between Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics
shifted to the iPhone's iconic display on Tuesday,
as the U.S. company called a former employee and award-winning
graphic designer to back up claims that Samsung gadgets look
Susan Kare, who from 1982 to 1986 had a hand in designing
icons for the original Macintosh computers, scrutinized the home
screens of 11 of the Korean firm's phones -- including the
Galaxy S and Epic 4G -- and found the icons and layout to be
Apple is contending that buyers may confuse Samsung devices
with the iPhone, and accuses the Asian firm of copying design
and features. Samsung, in turn, has accused Apple of violating
Samsung wireless technology patents.
Kare -- who is also credited for Microsoft Corp
icons such as the "Notepad" and for its deck of "Solitaire" game
cards -- testified that even she was fooled by a Samsung gadget
at a pre-trial meeting.
"There was a big conference table with many phones on it,
and some of them were on," said Kare, who followed the late
Steve Jobs to his NeXt computer startup in 1986 before starting
her own firm. "I could see the sceeen. I went to pick up the
iPhone to make a point about the user interface, and I was
holding a Samsung.
"I think of myself as someone who's pretty granular about
looking at graphics, and I mistook one for the other."
When it came Samsung's turn to cross-examine Kare, lead
attorney Charles Verhoeven -- displaying a flash of theatrics --
switched on a Samsung phone and asked Kare to tell the jury what
she saw: a bright white Samsung logo.
Apple and Samsung are going toe-to-toe in a high-wattage
patent dispute, mirroring a fierce battle for industry supremacy
between two rivals that control more than half of worldwide
The trial playing out in downtown San Jose over the summer
is one of many disputes between the two around the world that
analysts see as partly aimed at retarding the spread of Google
Inc's Android, the world's most used mobile software.
Tuesday's testimony focused on the iPhone's familiar front
face, with its outsized square icons. Kare pointed to numerous
similaries on Samsung phones, including rounded corners, a range
of icon styles from retro-plain to stylized, and an evenly
"It is my opinion that the overall collection of graphic
features that makes the overall visual impression could be
confusing to a consumer," Kare told the packed courtroom.
STORY SO FAR
The trial has granted Silicon Valley an unprecedented peek
behind the curtain of Apple's famously secretive design and
marketing machine, and unearthed internal Samsung documents in
which the Korean company saw the iPhone as a competitive threat
and sought to match it.
On Friday, lawyers showed Apple Vice President Eddy Cue, in
a January 2011 email, urging then-Chief Operating Officer Tim
Cook to build a mini-iPad because he believed there was a market
for a seven-inch tablet. Late co-founder Steve Jobs was
receptive to the idea, according to Cue's email, fanning
speculation that Apple plans to make a mini-iPad to take on
cheaper gadgets from Google and Amazon.
On Monday, Apple trotted out a veteran designer to bolster
its claims. Peter Bressler, a college professor with electronics
design experience and some 70 patents to his name, analyzed
Samsung gadgets and the iPhone and iPad and concluded that many
were "substantially similar."
Samsung in turn used visuals and real phones to illustrate a
plethora of examples -- including different curvatures of
corners, sides that protrude marginally above the screen,
different positions for "lozenge" earpieces, even encircling
bezels that are not uniformly thick -- where competing phones