In fact, Samsung did not implement a magnifying glass. Instead, they invented their own function for “fine controls,” which is a blue pointer that appears below the cursor when text is selected, or on either side of text that is selected.
So even in some cases where the report appears to recommend copying Apple, Samsung doesn’t follow the recommendation in shipping products.
In summary, patent infringement exists only where an idea originated with Apple, Apple was granted a patent for that idea, and Samsung used the patented Apple idea in actual products.
As far as I can tell, very few of the items in the “Relative Evaluation Report” pass this test.
The most devastating thing about the report to Samsung’s case is that it works against Samsung’s overarching claim.
To oversimplify, Apple says it invents everything in its user interface, then others copy.
Samsung argues that most of the user interface elements in Apple’s phones and tablets are inevitable, obvious and “in the wind,” so to speak.
The “Relative Evaluation Report” supports Apple’s case in this regard. It’s clear at least that Samsung is being systematically influenced by the iPhone specifically.
The report is most damning if it becomes part of a chain of evidence where Apple can match up feature-by-feature where the report suggested a remedy, and Apple demonstrates that the resulting design changes were similar to Apple’s patented ideas.
My prediction is that there will be very few cases where this chain of evidence will be established in a way that constitutes a “smoking gun.”
The wildcard here is that the lawsuit is a jury trial. Apple needs only convince a jury in order to win the case. The “Relative Evaluation Report” is a powerful piece of evidence because it gives jurors a memorable visual image to accompany Apple’s “slavishly copied” claim. It gives Apple lawyers a thing to point to where they can say: “See? This is the specific point at which Samsung decided to copy Apple.”
The outcome of this case doesn’t require Apple to prove infringement. It only requires Apple to convince a jury that infringement happened.
So even if the “Relative Evaluation Report” doesn’t prove infringement, it very well could influence a jury.