Samsung will be allowed to enter a tablet developed more than a decade before the iPad’s launch as evidence after Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lost its bid to have it excluded from the two companies’ patent infringement case.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected Apple’s request that details of the prototype of a tablet developed in 1994 shouldn’t be presented to the jury. “That issue should go to the jury,” Koh said, according to Bloomberg. “It’s strange to me that we’re just hearing this now. If you thought the law was so clear cut, I would’ve appreciated that this was brought up sooner.”
Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington had ruled there were substantial differences between Apple’s iPad and designs of earlier readers, with the only similarity coming in their rectangular shape, rounded corners, and a flat back. Apple raised the same decision in its attempt to have the evidence blocked in the latest case, citing the fact that Koh had imposed a sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet based on the earlier ruling.
In that case, Samsung had tried to support its argument that variations of tablets existed before the iPad through a videotaped testimony by Roger Fidler of the University of Missouri. Fidler said he started working on a tablet design in 1981 and said Apple officials were exposed to his ideas and prototypes when the company worked with Knight-Ridder’s information design laboratory in Colorado.
“My feeling was that it should be something that’s lightweight, portable, with a flat screen that had an ability to use a touch screen,” Fidler said in his testimony about his first mock-up.