Apple’s “Purple” Concept For iPhone Gets Sony-Inspired Designs Thrown Out Of Patent Trial

Jury selection is starting today for the patent trial between Apple and Samsung that has already resulted in the release of tons of early Apple iPhone and iPad prototypes designs. But one design holds particular interest: an iPhone concept called “Purple.” The phone isn’t actually purple (it’s white), but the big news is not the color – it’s the date of the creation. To counter Samsung’s charge that Apple copied Sony’s smartphone and Walkman designs when it created the iPhone, Apple filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California which shows the Purple concept was from 2005 – before Sony’s Nishibori Design, developed in March 2006.

Samsung had pulled Sony’s designs into the case, as an effort to discredit Apple and show that it copied designs from elsewhere in the creation of the iPhone.

News of the Purple concept was first reported by The Verge, which referred to documents from Apple which called the Sony-style touches “an ‘enjoyable’ side project,'” but one that was done on top of original concept designs. Apple then asked the court to exclude Samsung’s evidence, showing that Apple’s designs were Sony-inspired.

Apple requests that the Court enforce Judge Grewal’s Order by excluding evidence that Apple’s designs were derived from Sony’s design language, from Mr. Nishibori’s exercise in applying Sony-style design details to the iPhone, or from Sony handsets of the time. Because this evidence is not admissible to prove the invalidity of Apple’s patents, it should not come in for any purpose.”

Although Apple is not enjoying having to release so many of its prototype designs in such a public forum, revealing the “Purple” concept worked. According The Verge’s updated report, Judge Lucy Koh says now that Samsung will not be allowed to show evidence during the trial regarding the Sony-inspired designs for the iPhone.