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Samsung says phone was inspired by 'a bowl of water'

Samsung claims its patent applicaton for the F700 was filed before the iPhone was announced and its design inspiration was more mundane.

This court case just gets stranger and stranger. Apple is claiming Samsung infringed its copyright by "slavishly copying" its phone and tablet designs, but now the South Korean company has hit back by saying its devices take inspiration from something else entirely: a bowl of water.

Yes, a bowl of water.

This is according to Samsung's senior designer, Hyoung Shin Park, or at least this is what Samsung says she was inspired by, CNET reports. Apple is trying to exclude the senior designer's testimony.

Park worked on Samsung's F700 handset, and according to Samsung, the patent application for her design is dated December 2006. That's before the iPhone was unveiled, which should bolster Samsung's case.

If Park's testimony is allowed, she'll detail the design process of the F700, including how Samsung chose which design features to include. That should be pretty crucial in a case that hinges on where the design came from.

Samsung claims Park took inspiration from the everyday object.

"Park was inspired by a bowl of water, with a smooth front surface, for the design," Samsung said in the filing. It went on to say the various design touches were there purely for functional purposes. These include: "a rectangular housing with four evenly-rounded corners, rounded edges on all four sides, a large, flat clear glass cover over the entire front face without ornamentation, a curved bezel that extends towards the back cover of the phone, an oblong speaker slot at the top of the front flat face, and a single optical jog button at the bottom of the front face."

It looks like there are weeks of this case still to go, so expect plenty more mud to be flung in either direction. Do you think Samsung copied Apple's designs? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page.