Judge Lucy Koh, whose celebrity as the presiding judge in the Apple versus Samsung patent trial is growing, has barred one of the South Korean company’s top designers from testifying in her courtroom.
In a document filed and signed by Koh yesterday, the judge has granted Apple’s request that Hyong Shin Park not be allowed to testify in front of jurors. Park was the lead designer of Samsung’s F700 phone and has said that the company’s handsets took their inspiration not from the iPhone, as Apple alleges, but from “a bowl of water.”
Apple’s attorneys have argued that, because the F700 phone is not on the list of devices accused of patent infringement, Park’s testimony is irrelevant to the case.
In a court filing from last week, Samsung pointed to a December 2006 design patent held by Park which predates the release of Apple’s first iPhone. The designer was to explain the process of her work on the F700 handset, including Samsung’s rationale in deciding which features to include in the phone. Her testimony was expected to back up Samsung’s allegation that features like the device’s rounded corners and rectangular shape were chosen to enhance functionality, not design.
The case resumes in Judge Koh’s San Jose, California courtroom today. Yesterday, the judge handed down orders for Apple and Samsung’s attorneys to meet and iron out disagreements over final jury instructions.