Samsung to get another crack at questioning Apple's Phil Schiller

Apple must make Schiller availabe for deposition by Monday

Apple executive Phil Schiller will have to provide further testimony to lawyers for Samsung Electronics as part of the appeal proceedings related to their big patent infringement case, a California court ordered Thursday.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday ordered that both companies make available a number of expert witnesses to lawyers for the other company for out of court depositions of "not more than three hours."

The short witness list included Schiller, Apple's head of worldwide marketing, and Apple sought a clarification with the court on whether Schiller was eligible for a request from Samsung lawyers. Apple argued that Schiller spoke at the trial as a fact witness, not an expert witness.

"Mr. Schiller is an Apple executive who testified at trial and whom Samsung has already deposed, and whose declaration is limited to facts and does not include any expert opinions," Apple lawyers wrote to the court on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal replied.

"Clarification of the court's October 29 order is what Apple wants, and so clarification Apple shall get. No later than November 5, 2012, Mr. Schiller shall appear for three hours of deposition. It is so ordered," he wrote.

At the trial in August, Schiller provided some of the most interesting testimony because it focused on how Apple came up with ideas for the iPhone and iPad. He also disclosed figures on how much Apple spent on U.S. advertising.

Samsung lawyers pushed him on design details, on screen keyboards and emails, copied to him, that discussed areas in which Apple wasn't first with a particular feature.

The two companies are racing to prepare themselves for an appeal hearing that is due to begin on December 6 at the courthouse in San Jose.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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