As I’m sure everyone knows (and is sick of hearing about) by now, Apple is locked in a bitter trademark dispute with Samsung over copyright infringement. They argue that the design of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is too similar to the iPad and that was done specifically to confuse customers. Maybe it’s a BS claim, maybe it’s not, but Samsung’s lawyers didn’t do themselves any favors yesterday during a court hearing when the presiding judge, Lucy Koh, held up both devices and told them to pick out the Samsung product from 10 feet away.
Kathleen Sullivan, an attorney for Samsung, responded: ““Not at this distance your honor.”
The legal team eventually choose the correct device, but not after significant deliberation. “It took a long time to make that distinction,” said Koh.
I get it. They’re lawyers and not necessarily tech savvy. But in this case it’s their business to know. The whole argument hinges on accusation that the design of the tablet was intended to mislead consumers who wouldn’t know any better. If the lawyers can’t identify the product they’re representing then that doesn’t bode well for their defense. As similar as the Galaxy Tab and iPad might be, there are still a number of cosmetic difference that they should have known. These guys are being paid thousands of dollars for the representation, they could at least do their homework.
The stumble may be less damning than it sounds and Apple’s case is still far from won, but that’s just plain embarrassing for Samsung.