updated 06:13 am EDT, Fri July 27, 2012
Samsung filing claims Apple copied Sony for iPhone design
A Samsung filing has revealed what had been a highly confidential iPhone prototype that bears a Sony logo, according to The Verge. In one instance, the same design also carries a 'Jony' logo variant that appears to be a hat tip to Apple design chief Jony Ive. The court filing by Samsung appears intended to show that Apple derived its designs from the work of others, although the designs in question were developed in-house by Apple.
The prototype dates back to 2006, and has much in common with what eventually became the design for the iPhone 4 and 4S models. It was developed by Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori who had been asked by Tony Fadell to design an iPhone that was influenced by Sony design language. Steve Jobs had often talked about making Apple "the Sony of computers" as he appreciated the way in which it developed slick devices.
Although the iPhone prototype does not draw directly from an actual shipping Sony product, it seems as though Samsung will try to demonstrate to the court that Samsung was only doing with its designs what Apple had been doing. It also appears that Samsung intends to put the case to the court that Apple has often drawn inspiration for its products from others.
The high-stakes court case is set to kick off in the next few days. Apple has already had one critical win with the court directing the jury to be advised that Samsung had destroyed evidence that the court had ordered they produce. Samsung is also trying to stop documents from being entered into the court which show Samsung's own employees commenting on the similarities between Samsung's products. Another set of documents show Best Buy alerting Samsung that a number of customers had returned their tablets because they incorrectly thought they had bought iPads.