Apple Saw My Prototype Tablet Way Before iPad, Claims Samsung Witness

Roger Fidler, a news technology developer called as a trial witness by Samsung yesterday in the ongoing patents infringement trial with Apple, claimed that Cupertino company saw his prototype for a tablet computer over a decade before the iPad was released in 2010, Bloomberg reports. The witness, who heads the digital publishing program at the University of Missouri, said in a written declaration that he started working on a tablet design in 1981 and that Apple personnel were exposed to his tablet prototypes during a period in the mid-1990s.

Detailing from the source:

“My feeling was that it should be something that’s lightweight, portable, with a flat screen that had an ability to use a touch screen,” Fidler testified, referring to the first mock-up of his tablet from the early 1980s.

“My original assumptions were that it would be a touchscreen without a stylus,” he said.

Samsung’s use of Fidler’s testimony, as with other witnesses the company has called, is intended to discredit Apple’s claims of originality behind the patented technology used in the iPad and the iPhone. In a session without the jury present, Samsung lawyer Charles Verhoeven, defending the company’s attempt to show the testimony, told U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh it was central to the company’s case and that Apple had successfully blocked Fidler from testifying in person.

Apple sued Samsung back in April 2011, accusing it of copying patented designs and is now claiming at least $2.5 billion in damages for patent infringement, in addition to permanently banning sales of Samsung Galaxy tablet and extend the ban to Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

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