Samsung In Race Against Time In OZ Apple Designers Set To Be Quizzed

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Samsung Australia faces an uphill battle to get its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet into stores in time to make meaningful sales before Christmas, even if it wins its current appeal against a temporary injunction won by Apple to bar the tablet from sale, pending a patent case hearing next year.

Samsung Australia faces an uphill battle to get its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet into stores in time to make meaningful sales before Christmas, even if it wins its current appeal against a temporary injunction won by Apple to bar the tablet from sale, pending a patent case hearing next year.

The Federal Court has said it will hear Samsung’s appeal in Sydney on November 25. The hearing is expected to take about one week, leaving Samsung with only two or three weeks of pre-Christmas sales should it win.

Separately, both Samsung and Apple’s legal teams have warned that a counter-case brought by Samsung, seeking a sales ban on Apple’s iPhone 4S, is a more complex matter than first realised and could take at least five or six days of court time, rather than the two set down.

The Federal Court is due to begin hearing argument in that case on November 13 before Justice Bennett who in earlier hearings said that she wanted to hear “oral” about Apple patents as opposed to written submissions by Apple.

Earlier this week Samsung said that it is is planning to take depositions from several key Apple designers according to Edible Apple. The most prominent person on the list is Apple’s senior VP of industrial design, Jonathan Ive. Ive is credited with much of the look and feel of Apple products, and may now wield even more influence in the absence of Steve Jobs, who was infamous for micromanaging details during his tenure as CEO.

Electronista said that another important name on the deposition list is Doug Satzger, who worked at Apple for 12 years, up until 2008. On his LinkedIn profile he notes that he “managed and directed all creative aspect of color materials and finishes for product from the first iMac to the latest iPhone, iPods, iPad and MacBooks.” He left for Palm in March 2009.

Shin Nishibori is identified as an industrial designer at Apple. He is notably credited with large number of design patents, including ones for the iPod nano, MacBook Air, iPhone 4, and Apple retail packaging. The last name on the list is Christopher Stringer, who like Nishibori is another Apple designer and linked to a host of the company’s patents.

The depositions are related to the legal war between Apple and Samsung, which began when Apple started accusing Samsung phones and tablets of copying the look of the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has fired back with its own countersuits, but Apple has so far scored the most short-term victories, for instance securing injunctions on products in some regions. The depositions were originally scheduled to take place by November 1st, but had to be delayed since none of the subjects were available.

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