The early filings in preparation for today's trial between Apple and Samsung showed the Koreans are building a theory that the initial iPhone design is inspired by a Sony designer daydreamings and concepts
. The ideas were so compelling for Apple's industrial designer Shin Nishibori, that he put together a drawing and a mockup clearly labeled Sony, to reveal the source of his inspiration, and then Jony, as a tribute to Apple's chief designer Sir Jony Ive.
Now Cupertino quickly sensed the threat in those allegations, and is counteracting with a motion
in support of dismissing the Sony-Jony prototype as evidence, chiefly based on the fact that Apple already had a design prototype, called "Purple", way back in August 2005, whereas Nishibory's work from March 2006 was portrayed as simply an "enjoyable side project
". Apple argues in the court filing:
Samsung no doubt intends to distract the jury from its own copying by suggesting that Apple, too, has copied a competitor. The evidence is not admissible to prove this point, and Samsung’s attempt to proffer it on this basis should be rejected under Rules 402 and 403. Mr. Nishibori’s design and Mr. Fadell’s email had no influence on the development of the iPhone’s design, and to suggest otherwise is a waste of the jury’s precious time.
During development of the iPhone, Apple’s industrial designers created numerous concepts, including this one dated August 2005—a rectangular shaped phone with evenly rounded corners, a band running around the midpoint of its body, a centered display on the front face, a menu button centered below the screen, and a speaker slot centered above the screen.
We learned yesterday that Shin Nishibori has seemingly quit Apple this month
, doesn't want to testify for Samsung, and, according to his lawyers, is recovering from a health problem in Hawaii. It is not the first time Nishibori is dodging deposition as a Samsung-summoned witness - the Koreans had to show the court some of his tweets about work trips and 10K marathons participation to fight the claim that he is on a leave of absence and can't testify. The plot thickens and today all eyes will be on San Jose's District Court for the start of tech trial of the century.