The landmark Apple-Samsung patent trial where both sides have been trading allegations and counter allegations in courts across the world, has just taken a new spin with Samsung accusing the iPhone and iPad maker of copying Sony’s designs for its devices.

Apple has previously accused Samsung of ‘slavishly copying the design of the iPad and the iPhone’.

A German court has already ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy 7.7 did in fact copy the iPad design and the device is now facing a European sales ban. In the UK meanwhile, a judge ruled that the Samsung devices were not as ‘cool’ as the Apple ones and were therefore not in violation of any patents.

But in a new twist to the American leg of the great patent/design wars, it seems Samsung has accused Apple of the copying the design for the iPhone from Sony. MacWorld reports,according to internal Apple documents submitted to a California court on Wednesday, these reveal that Apple relied heavily on Samsung’s design. The documents were filed to the US District Court in San Jose by lawyers for Samsung as part of an ongoing lawsuit with Apple over patent infringement, says the report.

Stolen from the Sony. So says Samsung. Getty Images

Interestingly the report does have pictures which show striking similarities between Apple’s iPhone and older Sony devices. You can check out the pictures at MacWorld itself.

On the other side of the court-room, Apple is going to argue that Samsung was already warned by Google that the design of its tablets was too close to that of the iPad.

Tech website, AllThingsD has revealed that Apple is going to use Samsung’s own office documents to prove that Google had told them that the design was too close to the iPad.

The report states,

In February 2010, Google told Samsung that Samsung’s “P1” and “P3” tablets (Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Tab 10.1) were “too similar” to the iPad and demanded “distinguishable design vis–vis the iPad for the P3.”

In 2011, Samsung’s own Product Design Group noted that it is “regrettable” that the Galaxy S “looks similar” to older iPhone models.

Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal reports that Samsung has been sanctioned by a Federal judge for not safe-keeping evidence.

According to the report, Judge Paul Grewal, a magistrate judge in California, granted Apple’s request for an “adverse jury instruction” in the case, agreeing to inform jurors that Samsung failed to live up to its obligation to preserve evidence. Samsung reportedly destroyed company emails that were essential evidence.

This is not the first time that Samsung has accused Apple of being the copycat in the first place. The South Korean tech giant had said last year to a US court that Apple ripped off Stanley Kubrick.

Samsung said in its court papers that a tablet computer seen in Kubrick’s movie 2001: Space Odyssey “has an overall rectangular shape with a dominant display screen, narrow borders, a predominately flat front surface, a flat back surface (which is evident because the tablets are lying flat on the table’s surface), and a thin form factor.

The US trial is due to begin in San Jose on Monday.

Publish date: July 26, 2012 12:07 pm| Modified date: July 26, 2012 12:07 pm

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