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Samsung designer says Galaxy Tab 10.1 design work preceded iPad announcement

Samsung marched a number of witnesses to the stand on Wednesday in efforts to rebut Apple's patent infringement claims, including an industrial designer involved in the design of the original Galaxy Tab 10.1 and a number of Galaxy smartphones.

One of the first things principal Samsung industrial designer Jin Soo Kim said when he took the stand on Wednesday was that work on the Galaxy 10.1 began in October of 2009, well before the iPad was announced in January 2010. The designer made reference to an email dated January 6, 2010, which included a drawing of the Samsung tablet's design, to support his claims, reports All Things D.

Kim described the various steps involved in the Galaxy Tab 10.1's creation, noting the goal of the project was to maximize screen size while keeping the device's dimensions small. He went on to explain that the original version of the tablet, first shown at Mobile World Conference and never sold in the U.S., was bulkier than the device's revamped 2011 design.

“We decided we would produce the lightest and thinnest tablet in the world,” Kim said in reference to the plethora of tablets announced at the conference. The designer claims the idea to rework the tablet with a thinner profile came before Apple's iPad 2 unveiling in March 2011. He also notes the Galaxy Tab is thinner than Apple's competing model.

On the smartphone front, Kim pointed out the differences in a variety of Galaxy S II handsets he designed, noting that some had larger screens while others had physical QWERTY keyboards.

When asked if he had ever copied Apple's designs, Kim said, "I have not."

Apple lawyer Harold McIlhenny grilled Kim on cross-examination, bringing up the Mobile World Congress 2011 version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. The counsel presented two internal Samsung emails which discussed Google's request that the company change one of its designs because it was too similar to the iPad. Another email thread mentions the similarities between Samsung's smartphones and the iPhone before saying, "Google is demanding distinguishable design vis-a-vis the iPad for the P3 [Galaxy Tab 10.1].” Kim said his superiors had never notified him of the emails.

On redirect, Samsung lawyer John Quinn had Kim confirm that the P3 tablet described in the email never made it to market.

With two days of testimony left in the Apple v. Samsung trial, the parties have little time left with which to work as both are nearing their allotted 25 hour limits. Samsung is in an especially tight spot with 2.5 hours left on the clock, compared to Apple's seven hours.

The Cupertino company plans to use part of the time it has left to offer witness testimony over Samsung's handling of standards essential patents. Apple's tentative witness list includes 21 people, though it might whittle down that number given the time constraints.

According to in-court reports from All Things D's Ina Fried, Samsung lawyers threatened to produce a mound of objections if Apple didn't cut down on the witness list.

“Please don’t do this to me,” Judge Koh said. “I’ve cried uncle.”

She went on to note that her small team can't keep up with the parties' "legions of lawyers."

“I’m trying to do this as expeditiously as humanly possible,” Judge Koh said.

Apple v. Samsung will continue through Friday, and the judge hopes to have rulings for a few outstanding motions and 300 pages worth of jury instructions done by Sunday, thus allowing for oral arguments on Monday. The jury is expected to begin deliberating on Wednesday following closing arguments from Apple and Samsung on Tuesday.