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Samsung: Our phone design was inspired by 'a bowl of water'

Company lawyers seek to prevent Apple from blocking testimony of a key phone designer.

The F700 from Samsung

Apple and Samsung are locked in a dispute over whether the jury deciding their patent trial should hear the testimony of a senior Samsung designer.

Apple wants to exclude the testimony of Hyoung Shin Park, who worked as a senior designer on the team involved with the production of the F700 phone. Samsung said she began working on the project in May 2006.

Samsung said in a court brief filed Friday that the patent application for her design dates back to December 2006, before the first public iPhone announcement.

If the court sides with Samsung, Park is 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.

"Park was inspired by a bowl of water, with a smooth front surface, for the design," Samsung said in the filing. It goes on to say that she chose the various functional features of Samsung's smartphone because they served various functional purposes -- a list which includes "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 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."

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