Samsung on Friday brought up VP of Android Engineering Hiroshi Lockheimer as its first witness in the second California Apple v. Samsung patent trial in a bid to prove the Korean company's devices did not copy Apple's. The main argument: Google invented certain features before Apple patented them.
Lockheimer spent a good chunk of time detailing the differences between Android and iOS, especially focusing on the early days of the project. He noted that the team of engineers working on the project made a concerted effort to make Android a discrete operating system.
"We liked to have our own identity, we liked to have our own ideas," Lockheimer said. "We were very passionate about what we were doing, and it was important that we have our own ideas."
According to in-court reports from The Verge, Lockheimer said his first brush with Android was in January 2006, when founder Andy Rubin asked him to view a demo of the OS. At the time, Lockheimer was working for digital security firm Good Technology, but promptly left for Google after being "blown away" by Android.
In the beginning, the team consisted of about 20 to 30 people, a number that grew to 70 people by the time the first Android phone debuted in 2008.
"People tend to thing of Google as a big company, but we were a small team," Lockheimer said. "We were autonomous, and the company let us do our own thing."
From there, the group ballooned to hundreds of people. Currently, Lockheimer said between 600 and 700 people answer to him for various software tasks.
The testimony was designed to prove some phone features Apple is suing Samsung over were already a part of the Android operating system used in certain devices, like the Galaxy Nexus. Further, specific features — except "slide-to-unlock — were invented by Google before being patented by Apple.
Samsung will continue its case on Monday when court reconvenes. Attorneys for the company said as many as 17 witnesses may be trotted out by the end of Monday — most through deposition — though presiding Judge Lucy Koh wants that number pared down.