Samsung and Apple are busy fighting it out at one of the biggest patent trials in San Jose, California. The stakes are high and Samsung’s smartphones and tablets could face a US ban if the trial goes Apple’s way. Apple says Samsung copied the look, feel and design of the iPhone and the iPad. Judge Lucy Koh has already granted a pre-trial injunction to Apple banning the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
You’d think Samsung would try not to anger a judge but they did just that by releasing a crucial piece of evidence to the media. Samsung issued a statement to the media along with two slides showing that the iPhone design idea originated from Sony. This ‘Sony-design’ theft harping on Samsung’s part has not left judge Koh too happy.
According to CNET, Koh wasn’t pleased. She told Samsung to file a brief explaining who drafted the statement, as well as who from Samsung’s legal team authorized it.
Judge Koh had denied Samsung the request to present evidence that Sony’s design was what ‘inspired Apple’s iPhone. This was the statement Samsung issued along with the release:
The Judge’s exclusion of evidence on independent creation meant that even though Apple was allowed to inaccurately argue to the jury that the F700 was an iPhone copy, Samsung was not allowed to tell the jury the full story and show the pre-iPhone design for that and other phones that were in development at Samsung in 2006, before the iPhone. The excluded evidence would have established beyond doubt that Samsung did not copy the iPhone design. Fundamental fairness requires that the jury decide the case based on all the evidence.
Should Apple be worried? Yes, since the evidence that Samsung has released is quite interesting. It shows Shin Nishibori, former Apple designer as saying that the original designs for the iPhone were based on Sony’s at the request of Jonathan Ive, the lead designer behind all Apple products. Nishibori has refused to participate in the trial, even though he was subpoenaed.
But Judge Koh is still not buying Samsung’s arguments. According to TheNextWeb,
Apple whipped out a prototype predating Nishibori’s design that dated back to 2005, arguing that the Sony designs were just a riff on what it had done before. This negated Samsung’s point, at least in the eyes of Judge Koh. Koh ruled that Samsung could not present evidence related to these ‘Sony-style’ designs, or another prototype design that Samsung says it was working on in 2006.
Overall things are certainly not looking bright for Samsung.