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Secrets shared as Apple’s patent litigation gets underway

The iPhone and iPad are two popular devices in New Jersey. In fact, one would be hard pressed to go anywhere in public without seeing someone using one of the devices. This popularity was something that Apple worked hard to achieve. The process of developing such a long-lasting product trend took years and involved extensive market research before releasing the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad later in 2010.

This hard work is precisely the reason that Apple contested the release of Samsung products that bore a fairly similar design. The patent infringement case has gotten underway, and now the ever-secretive Apple Inc. has already shared a number of never-before-released secrets.

In order to prove that Samsung Electronics Co. copied Apple product designs, the company has been tasked to prove that the designs were original Apple designs. Part of proving this includes presenting evidence of the process used to come up with the products.

On Friday, Aug. 3 Scott Forstall testified in court. Forstall is a senior vice president with Apple who supervises software development on the products. He shared how secretive the late co-founder Steve Jobs was about “Project Purple,” the secret project that was to create the iPhone. In fact, in 2004 when he assembled the team of 1,000 to 2,000 people, Jobs specifically instructed him that no one from outside the company could help with the interface — a main point of contention in the patent case.

He testified to the lockdown that occurred as the team created ideas for the new product. Not only were employees given special keycards, but their every move was watched on camera. The company even used unusual market techniques to survey how the product’s possible success once released. As the details were shared, they were immediately tweeted to the nation, some of these details the company referred to as trade secrets. Will they be able to keep some of the most important ones under wraps?

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Apple’s Secrets Revealed at Trial,” Ian Sherr, Aug. 5, 2012

If you want to learn more about a possible patent dispute you may have, our New Jersey intellectual property page provides more information.

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