Ina Fried

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Samsung Makes Another Case to Have Apple’s “Sony Style” Put Before Jury

One of the key debates raging ahead of next week’s big patent trial is whether Samsung will be able to present a jury with evidence that Apple’s iPhone was heavily influenced by Sony.

Samsung has introduced evidence that the iPhone project changed direction based on things that Apple learned from news articles about where Sony was headed.

Apple, meanwhile, argued in a filing last week that the evidence has already been excluded, and that it was not presented in a timely way to the court.

in a filing on Saturday, Samsung claims Apple tried to delay Samsung learning about the extent of the Sony influence on the iPhone, and says the California company shouldn’t be rewarded for its tactics.

“Apple’s ‘iconic’ iPhone was conceived as part of a study of Sony designs that was ordered by Apple executives,” Samsung said in the filing. “It took Samsung four separate court orders — three from this Court and one from the International Trade Commission — compelling Apple to produce the testimony and documents that are the subject of Apple’s motion before Apple finally disclosed it.

Samsung argues that it tried for months to take the deposition of Apple designer Shin Nishibori, but Apple said he was on a leave of absence and unavailable. Samsung presented in court postings Nishibori made on Twitter that included discussions of world travel and taking part in 10K races. Samsung eventually took his deposition in May 2012.

Prior to the work by the Apple designer, the company was pursuing a separate design approach, known as “extrudo,” while its later work (and the eventual iPhone) more closely resembles the “Sony style” design.

“As a further extension of its year-long efforts to prevent any of this evidence from surfacing, Apple now seeks wholesale exclusion of the story of how the iPhone was created on the alleged basis that it is entirely irrelevant to Apple’s claims (including its iPhone design claims) and that Samsung didn’t tell Apple soon enough that it believed the evidence is important,” Samsung said in the filing. “In reality, with the trial fast approaching, Apple hopes to avoid public disclosure of the full, detailed story of how the iPhone in its present form came to be.”

The matter is just one of many skirmishes still raging ahead of the patent trial, which is set to kick off in a federal court in San Jose, Calif., on Monday.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus