While there are a lot of minor legal battles being fought hard by Apple and Samsung in their longstanding patent quarrel, the war as a whole seems to depend a lot on the outcome of the appeals following the August California verdict.

Will Apple get some new holiday presents in the form of damage bumping and bans on Samsung Android devices? Or will Sammy manage to prove the jury wrong and get the initial verdict overturned?

There might still be a while until we’ll get straight and definitive answers to those questions, but right now a key aspect in the appeals proceedings seems to be the re-questioning of a number of witnesses, including Apple’s Phil Schiller.

The Cupertino senior vice president of worldwide marketing will have to make himself available to Samsung’s lawyers today in a deposition questioning session that can’t take more than three hours. During that session, Sammy will try to get clarifications on comments already made by Schiller in the legal case, including statements backing injunctions against several infringing devices.

Some of these claims have supposedly been made after the trial’s verdict in August, being “new or in conflict with his testimony at trial”. Although Apple opposed, saying that “Mr.Schiller’s declaration is limited to facts and does not include any expert opinions”, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California deemed Apple’s VP as an expert witness.

Basically, that means Schiller is now considered by the court a “specialist in a subject who may present his opinion without having been a witness to any occurrence relating to the lawsuit”. So, what are some of Schiller’s claims that Samsung will try to refute?

Well, for starters, there’s a claim that Samsung created the Galaxy line to “present a unified brand for consumers”. Another questionable comment refers to the competition between Apple and Samsung, which Schiller said extends even to carriers that don’t sell the iPhone.

But Apple’s VP might get cornered into reassessing other statements too, because he has been one of the most generous witnesses to talk about iPhone and iPad’s inceptions in the past. It’ll definitely be hard work for Samsung’s lawyers to force Schiller in only three hours to say anything incriminating on that, but they can at least try, can’t they?

Other lower profile witnesses to be re-questioned are Marylee Robinson and Dr. Russell Winer, who’ll have to clarify some statements to Samsung lawyers, but also Dr. Yoram Wind, Dr. Tulin Erdem, Samuel Lucente, and Stephen Gray, who will appear in front of Apple’s legal team.

It remains to be seen whether or not these new depositions will provide any shockers, though if it’s one thing we know right now is that the entire war, as well as this particular critical fight, will not end very soon. Anyone fed up with this whole thing or do you still grab your popcorn every time you hear something new on the Apple vs Samsung scrap?