An Apple-hired expert today argued that lots of consumers can’t tell the difference between the iPhone and Samsung phones, or between the iPad and Samsung tablets. The expert witness, Kent Van Liere, polled consumers to see if they could distinguish between Apple’s devices and Samsung’s, finding that a significant number could not.
Apple argues that its “trade dress,” the distinctive look of the iPhone and iPad—from their sizes and shapes to the design of their home screens and icons—has been violated by Samsung’s various competing products. As such, Apple is trying to prove that Samsung created products so similar to the iPhone and iPad that people look at Samsung devices and assume they were made by Apple.
In addition to Van Liere’s comparison study, Apple trotted out expert witness Hal Poret, who surveyed 582 people who had purchased mobile phones in the past year or were likely to purchase one in the next 12 months. Poret found that consumers widely recognize the iPhone and iPad trade dress and associate it with Apple.