John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Tries to Torpedo Samsung’s “Sony Style” iPhone Charge

Samsung’s argument that Apple cribbed portions of its original iPhone design from Sony is an interesting one, but the company may not get a chance to see how it plays in court. Unsurprisingly, Apple has taken exception to it and asked that it be excluded from the pair’s upcoming patent trial.

In a brief filed Friday afternoon, Apple argued that Samsung should be barred from presenting its Sony theory and the evidence supporting it at trial on the following grounds:

  1. The theory, which implies Apple’s patents are obvious in light of Sony prior art, has already been excluded from the case by another judge.
  2. Samsung didn’t disclose this new theory until after the close of the discovery period of the case. It shouldn’t be allowed to ambush Apple with it now.
  3. The BusinessWeek article on which Samsung’s theory is based has no picture of any Sony product, making it impossible for the jury to assess from the article whether Apple in fact “derived” its designs from Sony products.
  4. The Sony Walkman that Samsung claims inspired the design of the iPhone looks absolutely nothing like it (see picture above, right).
  5. The testimony of former Apple designer Shin Nishibori who claims his Sony-style mock-ups influenced the design of the iPhone is inadmissible because his deposition wasn’t authorized by the court and Apple never stipulated to it.
  6. “It is unfair in a timed trial to require Apple to take the time to rebut such evidence.”

In short, Samsung’s “Sony Style” theory is inadmissible, silly and a waste of the court’s time. That’s a pretty brutal takedown from Apple’s legal team. Makes you wonder if it actually worries about Samsung’s Sony theory being heard in court. Ultimately, though, it’s impossible to say how seriously Apple is taking it, but obviously it’s not going to let any allegation go unchallenged.

Apple versus Samsung Full Coverage


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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo