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Early iPad designs surface during Apple v Samsung patent dispute

Earlier this month, court documents in the patent battle between Samsung and Apple showed off grainy photos of an early iPad prototype. Now, additional filings from Samsung provide a deeper look at some early ideas for Apple's popular tablet.

Not surprisingly, the early iPad was bulkier, with some images showing a large, solid white line around the edge of the tablet. Other images take the opposite approach, with an almost edge-to-edge screen and silver backing. In another option, that silver edge folds over to the front of the tablet for a thin border.

Another photo shows a free-standing iPad, suggesting that a kickstand might have been considered on early versions. There's also a version that appears to have rounded edges that might make it easier to grip the tablet.

Samsung's filing also included a number of iPhone and iPod touch prototype images, too, which we detailed yesterday. Samsung does not actually want jurors to see these prototype images, arguing that Apple is being selective in its presentation in order to manipulate the jury. The images are scheduled to be used in connection with the testimony of Chris Stringer, Apple's first witness.

Apple and Samsung are currently presenting their opening arguments in a patent battle that dates back more than a year. Apple sued Samsung in April 2011 for "slavishly" copying the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy line-up of devices. Samsung countersued and the case has now expanded to dozens of countries around the world.

The California case, however, has garnered the most interest of late. The trial kicked off with jury selection and hash words exchanged by the two companies during their opening arguments.