Are Customers Confusing Samsung’s Tablets for Apple’s iPad?

Court documents filed by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in its patent infringement case against Samsung, set to start trial next week, indicate that retailer Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) had told the Korean company it was processing Galaxy Tab returns from customers who believed they were buying an iPad. It is not publicly known how many Galaxy Tab devices were returned, but presumably the number was enough for Best Buy to bring it to Samsung’s attention, according to AllThingsD.

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The iPhone maker had earlier cited statements from external designers brought in for product evaluations by Samsung who said the devices were “too similar” to Apple’s products and that the Korean company come up with a “distinguishable design vis-à-vis the iPad” for its future Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android tablet models.

Apple’s filings also focused on the design of Samsung’s products before the iPhone was announced in 2007 and after that. One of the examples cited was the Samsung BlackJack, a Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone device that was popular prior to 2007 and looked a lot like Research In Motion’s (NASDAQ:RIMM) Blackberry.

Samsung was also admonished by the San Jose, California, District Court judge earlier this week for having deleted emails, internal memos, and other evidence relevant to the lawsuit. The case is one of several the two companies are fighting against each other across several countries and related to multiple products.

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