Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Documents in Apple vs. Samsung Give Reporters Plenty to Chew On

So this is what all those lawyers have been up to.

For anyone wondering if all of those hundreds of attorneys were really working on Apple versus Samsung, Thursday’s avalanche of paperwork makes it clear that they were. On Thursday alone, dozens of documents were filed or unsealed, as a federal court in San Jose gears up for a trial set to begin next week in Apple’s patent suit against Samsung.

The result was a veritable buffet of tidbits for reporters covering the tech industry. Given the number of options, different news outlets snacked from different parts of the smorgasbord.

Reuters, for example, focused on one document that outlined Apple’s profit margins on specific products, including the iPhone and iPad. While Apple shares some detail in its earnings reports, it doesn’t always offer such specificity.

The Verge took a look at some of the Apple prototypes, including an iPad with a kickstand, that were part of the unsealed documents.

The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, did a short blog item on the fact that, despite publicly trashing focus groups and market research, Apple clearly does some of its own such studies.

We’ve been poring through documents ourselves, and here are some of the things we’ve been reading about:

  • Samsung was forced to release a bunch of documents it had been keeping under seal that show the likeness between its products and Apple’s. Examples outlined in the documents include comments from Samsung workers discussing similarities with Apple’s products, and reports Samsung got from retailer Best Buy that Samsung tablets were being returned because customers thought they were getting iPads.

    Samsung still has a pending motion to prevent all of this information from being included at trial. Earlier documents revealed that Google warned Samsung that its products were too close to Apple’s. Samsung, meanwhile, argues that Apple actually copied Sony.

  • After being stung with an order that the jury be told it didn’t preserve documents in the case, Samsung now wants the court to issue a similar instruction to the jury saying that Apple also didn’t keep all the emails it should have.
  • Microsoft, Research In Motion, Qualcomm and others want their contracts with Apple and/or Samsung kept under seal, while Reuters is fighting those requests.
  • Both sides have filed the list of witnesses that they may call when the trial starts next week.

We’re still sorting through filings, and more and more keep being released. Dinner is going to get cold. Oh well, we’ll just feast on more documents.

Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald