Court filings reveal Sony-inspired iPhone ahead of next week's trial

By Lee Kaelin on

The widely-discussed patent infringement trial between Apple and Samsung starts next week, with the former seeking $2.525 billion in damages and the latter demanding 2.4% of the sale price on every device misusing its patents.

The case stems back to April 2011, when the US firm filed a lawsuit alleging that Samsung copied design elements of its iPhone and iPad. Samsung responded a few days later with its own lawsuit, accusing the company of infringing on ten patents covering various wireless technologies. District Court Judge Lucy Koh combined both cases.

While many of the unsealed filings are blacked out, they still offer valuable insight into just how much work both sides have been doing to earn their fees. According to Computerworld, Morrison Foerster is charging Apple $582 per hour for representation. Not to be outdone, Samsung is paying Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan $821 an hour.

The unsealed documents revealed that Apple worked with Sony to come up with some concepts before launching the iPhone and even featured the Japanese company's logo on the designs. Apple also looked into an integrated kickstand on prototypes that eventually became the iPad. Interestingly, the early design wears an iPod label, while others even had what appeared to be handles built into the cases.

Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal criticized Samsung for shredding emails that should have been kept in anticipation of the case, and internal memos discussing iPhone's "beautiful design" will no doubt prove embarrassing in court. Apple has its share of embarrassments as well, including marketing emails that discuss how many iPhone features "weren't firsts."

While Judge Koh said she would celebrate if the two sides reached a settlement before the trial starts, that's unlikely, especially since recent high-level talks failed to reach an agreement. The case could influence how the US and other countries view copying and innovation.

Image credits: EngadgetThe Verge

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