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Key Samsung designer barred from testifying in Apple case

Hyong Shin Park has said that Samsung phones were inspired by a "bowl of water" and not the iPhone. Apple argues that Park's testimony isn't relevant.

F700 from Samsung

Samsung Electronics won't be able to use the testimony of one of its key designers in its case against Apple, according to a court document filed and signed by Federal Judge Lucy Koh yesterday.

Hyong Shin Park, who was the lead designer for Samsung's F700 phone, will be barred from testifying, as the court sided with Apple's request to keep her from the courtroom.

Park has said that Samsung's phones were inspired by a "bowl of water" and not the iPhone. Apple argued that her project, the F700, isn't in the list of accused phones, and that her testimony isn't relevant to the case.

She was to be part of Samsung's case as it takes its turn in the ongoing trial against Apple in San Jose, Calif. The case picks up again today, with the trial's outcome potentially shifting the bargaining posture for both parties, and possibly getting the two sides a bit closer to finding a resolution.

Samsung said in a document filed Friday that Park's design patent dates back to December 2006, before Apple launched its first iPhone.

Park was expected to detail the evolution of the F700 project, including how the company went about choosing which features to include. That's a key point in this trial, with Apple accusing Samsung of copying the look and feel of the iPhone. Samsung has argued that the choice of shapes such as the rounded corners or rectangular shape of the device have nothing to do with design and everything to do with functionality.

Apple has argued that her testimony isn't relevant because she didn't design any of the products it says copied the iPhone's look and feel. Apple noted that Park herself wasn't aware of any of the Samsung phones being based on the F700.

Complete coverage: Apple v. Samsung, a battle over billions