It looks like the jury hearing the case of Apple vs. Samsung won't get to hear the degree to which Apple's iPhone was influenced by Sony.
The federal judge overseeing the case ruled late Sunday that Samsung's opening argument can't talk about what impact that Sony's designs may have had on the iPhone.
Samsung had hoped to talk about a mockup of an iPhone that Apple designer Shin Nishibori did, showing what a Sony-inspired iPhone might look like. Apple has been fighting against introduction of that evidence.
"We are very disappointed by the court's decision, which bans the use of evidence critical towards proving that Apple's design is neither new nor unique," a Samsung representative told AllThingsD. "We will immediately file an appeal, as we believe the jurors deserve to hear the whole story behind the development of Apple's design."
Judge Lucy Koh's decision could render moot the fact that Mr. Nishibori has said he won't appear as a witness for Samsung, despite a subpoena seeking his presence in court.
The ruling comes as jury selection in the case is set to begin later on Monday.
(This story has been posted on All Things D, a website owned by Dow Jones.)