Monday, 30 July 2012 10:10

Apple Shows Off Thier "Purple" Prototype From 2005 Asks For Samsung Evidence To Be Thrown Out

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When you start digging there are all kinds of interesting things that you can find. For example in the Samsung V. Apple trial Samsung released documents that claimed a Sony design concept influenced the direction of the iPhone. Apple has now come back with designs that predate the “Sony” mockup that Apple put together by a few months. They (Apple) are now asking for all of Samsung’s evidence about the Sony mockup to be tossed out. We checked and would appear to be something of an unusual request given the grounds for the request. Apple dearly wants the images and depositions of their designers about the Sony mockup removed from the trial.

One of the biggest reasons that Apple would want all of Samsung’s evidence thrown out is that it shows that while Apple might have made sketches of this concept, they did not decide to move in that direction until Sony talked about using it in their future products. There is a line in the brief filed by Samsung that says “As Mr. Nishibori has confirmed, his ―Sony-style‖ design changed the direction of the project that yielded the final iPhone designs”. This statement is important, very important. If true and Mr. Nishibori was called to testify he would have to say that the Sony concept was the deciding factor in the final design of the iPhone. This is regardless of any sketches that were done before, if they had been discarded and Apple was moving in another direction.

Apple would like to claim that these drawings indicate they did not copy from Apple, but came up with the design all on their own. As we have fond with many other Apple products this is simply not true. If you take a look you can find a design that Apple did borrow from even for their alleged “Purple” design. It is the HTC Apache reference design. Looking at the three side-by-side you can see the inspiration from the concept that would become the Sprint PPC-6700 (the Apache Reference Design was released in early 2005) and a host of other Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. We will admit that Apple did improve on the design and even the functionality of the UI for the smartphone, but they in no way developed the design or form factor on their own. In fact there is some evidence that Apple was looking at angled edges to differentiate their iPhone design, until the Sony concept drawings were completed.

So you can see that Apple desperately needs to invalidate this evidence and have it thrown out. Even with the Sony concept drawing coming in early 2006 the depositions and testimony of Apple designers and engineers is bad for Apple. It shows that Apple was and is willing to borrow from other concepts and ideas to build their products and that they did not “invent” the design as they claim. In our conversations we have been told that any request to bar evidence like this simply because it does not prove one part of a claim is not too common. Apple would like to say that since the evidence does not invalidate Apple’s patent it should be thrown out completely and not allowed for any other reasons. Samsung did not present the evidence just for patent invalidation though. They submitted it to show a pattern of abuse by Apple on top of the possibility that it will invalidate Apple’s design patent.

It is now up to the Judge in the case to let this evidence stand as part of the larger trial or to remove it. Our opinion is that this should be allowed to stand with Apple’s counter claims also given weight. Simply put, there is more going on than just a broad and abusive design patent and the Samsung evidence is a key part to it. Apple has a pattern of borrowing others ideas and concepts and improving them. The fact that they have taken to patenting these improvements in an effort to prevent competition is something that needs to be finally shown in court once and for all.

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Read 3998 times Last modified on Monday, 30 July 2012 10:23

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