Apple's Secrets Revealed at Trial
Posted in: Mobile & Wireless at 06/08/2012 19:28
Apple Inc., one of the world's most secretive companies, is finding there's a price in pushing its grievances against rival Samsung Electronics Co. in federal court: disclosure.
In just the first few days of its patent trial this week, Apple has publicly discussed how it created the iPhone and iPad, showed early designs of the devices and described intimate details about its product team.
It also gave glimpses into its strategy and customers, and each fact -- like an internal survey showing that 78% of iPhone owners buy cases -- was quickly disseminated and discussed in tweets and blog posts by people tracking the high-stakes case.
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At Its Trial, Apple Spills Some Secrets
Back in the early 1930s, a magician by the name of Horace Goldin went to court to defend his signature illusion: sawing a woman in half.
Mr. Goldin filed a lawsuit against the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company for using this magic trick in an advertisement and explaining how it worked. According to an article in The New York Times from March 1933, Mr. Goldin, who had won a patent for the illusion a decade earlier, asserted that the ad had adversely affected his ability to get people to see his shows. He asked for $50,000 in damages. (That's about $865,000 in today's dollars.)
I thought about Mr. Goldin last week as I sat in a federal courtroom here in the capital city of Silicon Valley. I listened to evidence presented in a patent lawsuit that Apple has brought against Samsung Electronics. Apple claims that Samsung copied its designs for the iPhone and the iPad.