The battle royale begins in a California courtroom today, as jury selection begins in the case of Apple vs. Samsung. As part of the last-minute legal maneuvering before the trial started, Samsung attempted to show how certain iPhone prototypes were influenced by Sony designs. However, Judge Lucy Koh ruled yesterday that Samsung's lawyers could not bring up the topic in opening arguments.
AllThingsD's Ina Fried reported on the decision on the eve of the beginning of the trial. Samsung wanted to have ex-Apple designer Shin Nishibori testify in the case, although Nishibori insistence that he will not appear as a witness. Nishibori made a mockup of a Sony-inspired iPhone (nicknamed "Jony" in honor of Apple's Industrial Design Senior VP Jony Ive) during his time at Apple, and Samsung wanted to use that design as proof that the iPhone design is not unique.
The Sony-like design may be a moot point anyway, as Apple revealed a design code-named "purple" (seen in the image at the top of this post) that pre-dates it by several months. Purple looks surprisingly like the iPhone 4 design -- according to court documents (PDF document), Nishibori testified in regard to the "Jony" design "that the design exercise was to be an 'enjoyable' side project and that he merely applied details, 'buttons and switches,' to express the Sony style on a model phone Apple had already developed."
In case you're confused about all of the courtroom craziness that has gone on so far, Fried has produced a "cheat sheet" that will hopefully make sense the insanity surrounding the case.