The Apple-Samsung mega-trial kicks off today, here’s what the jury will see

A high-stake technology trial involving Apple and Samsung is set to kick off today in a U.S. District court in San Jose, northern California over design and patent infringement claims involving Samsung’s Galaxy lineup of smartphones and tablets and Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

In the run-up to the mega-trial a bunch of court filings was made public, revealing Samsung’s overly aggressive court strategy but also offering a unique glimpse into Apple’s prototyping and industrial design processes. When all is said and done, this is what the jurors will see…

Samsung apparently wants 2.4 percent of Apple’s sales for use of its mobile communications technology. Apple on its part reportedly offers the half a cent per-device royalty fee and demands as much as $2.5 billion in damages from Samsung.

It boils down to who copied whom and turns out both parties have a chart for that.

Here’s Apple’s.

Source: Apple’s brief. Click to enlarge.

And this is what Samsung will show to the jurors.

Source: Samsung’s brief. Click to enlarge.

By showing ten internal touchscreen phone prototypes that predate the iPhone, Samsung will try to establish that it did not copy Apple’s popular device.

Samsung claims one of the prototypes, code-named the F700, had been in development before the iPhone’s debut in June 2007. Interestingly enough, Samsung says the F700 was the subject of a Korean design registration application in December of 2006, a month before the iPhone’s public unveiling.

We’ll see how Apple wiggles out of this one.

Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt, who called this “the end of the beginning of Apple’s proxy war against Google”, points to the very first sentence in Apple’s and Samsung’s pretrial briefs.

Apple writes that “Samsung is on trial because it made a deliberate decision to copy Apple’s iPhone and iPad”.

Unsurprisingly, Samsung’s pretrial brief reads that “in this lawsuit, Apple seeks to stifle legitimate competition and limit consumer choice to maintain its historically exorbitant profits”.

Apple filed its suit against Samsung in April of 2011 and the South Korean conglomerate counter-sued shortly thereafter. Apple’s pre-court filing reveals the company will warn the jury that Google and several renowned designers warned Samsung against copying the iPhone’s look and feel.

Samsung will try to establish enough of a prior art to invalidate Apple’s patents, including assertions that the iPhone maker ripped off Sony’s design style for the iPhone.

However, Shin Nishibori, the designer Apple hired from Sony to create a Sony-inspired iPhone prototype, no longer works for Apple and Nishibori’s lawyer wrote in a letter to the court yesterday that his client has no plans to testify in the upcoming trial.

Ina Fried of AllThingsD has a handy cheat sheet for those that love legal matters.

What do you guys think, will Apple and Samsung settle or wage a thermonuclear war until extinction?