Sydney, July 27 (ANI): South Korean mobile maker Samsung has claimed that tech giant Apple's iconic iPhone wasn't the firm's own invention but was a rip off of Sony products, according to a report.
According to a court filing made by Samsung as it battles a patent infringement dispute with Apple, in 2006, the year before the iPhone was launched, Apple industrial designer Shin Nishibori was directed to design an iPhone prototype inspired by Sony, and the Apple prototypes even had the "Sony" logo bar one which was renamed "Jony" after Apple design chief Sir Jonathan Ive.
After an Australian High Court in December overturned a decision to ban the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from sale, the Federal Court is now hearing Samsung's counter-claim that Apple infringed Samsung's patents related to 3G communications technology.
Samsung also tabled its own internal documents from 2006 purportedly showing that it was working on iPhone-style designs "well before the iPhone was announced".
"Samsung has been researching and developing mobile telecommunications technology since at least as early as 1991 and invented much of the technology for today's smartphones," The Age quoted Samsung, as saying in a statement.
"Indeed, Apple, which sold its first iPhone nearly 20 years after Samsung started developing mobile phone technology, could not have sold a single iPhone without the benefit of Samsung's patented technology," he added.
However, an Australian patent lawyer said he did not expect the US case to affect the case in Australia as in the US the hearing would be concerned with Apple's "design patents" protecting the physical appearance of products, whereas the case in Australia concerned their function.
The documents also revealed that compared to Apple's own internal prototype that looked like an iPod Mini, Apple designer Richard Howarth noted the Sony-inspired designs allowed for a "much smaller-looking product with a much nicer shape".
The patent lawyer said that settlement talks between Samsung and Apple appeared to have failed because Apple believes its patents are worth significantly more than the Samsung patents involved in the case. (ANI)