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Apple v. Samsung Jurors Speak, Skipped Prior Art For "Bogging Us Down" 506

Posted by timothy
from the that-stuff'll-just-get-in-the-way dept.
eldavojohn writes "PJ over at Groklaw has consolidated some of the more interesting juror comments made following the landmark $1 billion settlement. Apparently the foreman (a patent holder himself) took the jury through the process of how patents work and thus allowed them to return so quickly with a verdict without need of any instructions on how to work through all the material. Most sources are incredulous that all of the information was considered in the process. CNET quotes a juror as saying 'After we debated that first patent — what was prior art — because we had a hard time believing there was no prior art, that there wasn't something out there before Apple. In fact we skipped that one so we could go on faster. It was bogging us down.' While the fact that they they voted one way on infringement and another way on invalidity shows they were at least consistent, Groklaw is reporting on some odd inconsistencies in the aftermath of accounts from jurors. The appeal for something this huge goes without question but the accounts collected at Groklaw make this verdict and verdict process sound hasty, ambiguous and probably the result of one man's (the foreman's) personal opinion of patents."
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Apple v. Samsung Jurors Speak, Skipped Prior Art For "Bogging Us Down"

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:35AM (#41129067)

    I can not see the judge confirming this verdict. It was way too quick

  • Re:phew (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:44AM (#41129123)

    Don't get your hopes. The Groklaw account differs from a lot of other sources. Since the site is fairly anti-apple, you might look for a more objective piece before relaxing.

    Care to proffer these "objective pieces" so we can stray from Groklaw's "fairly anti-apple" bias?

  • by sinij (911942) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:49AM (#41129153) Journal
    Could jury know trial would likely go to appeals? They might have known that this trial is a waste of time and not likely to get resolved prior to Supreme Court.
  • No. No judge in the US, or the EU, or anywhere else is concerned about the national budget. It is not their job, it is not their boss' job, or the job of anybody they've ever met.

    Saying that judiciary decisions are made because of the budget only shows that you have no idea how a government operates. And that you are a troll.

  • by sribe (304414) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:57AM (#41129203)

    They're now taking things BADLY out of context. For instance, the quote about not needing the jury instructions, was NOT about the whole decision, it just about resolving their original 2 mistakes of including damages for phones they found non-infringing--well duh they didn't need instructions about how to fix that.

    And pay careful attention to the quote in the summary: the juror says they debated the prior art, then he says they "skipped that one". Hmm. He does not say they failed to consider prior art. He says the first one was bogging them down with the debate on prior art because they found it hard to believe there was not any. Then he says "they skipped that one", which, in context, probably means they put all questions regarding that patent aside to move on and see if the others were easier. But they did rule on it, which means they came back to it--and given their reports that debate was heated, it seems unlikely that they put it aside for a while, then came back and arbitrarily found for Apple without finishing their consideration of the evidence. It is really not reasonable to read that quote as saying the jury skipped consideration of prior art.

    Reading Groklaw's opinions of this trial has become rather like reading FOSS Patent's opinions of the Oracle/Google trial, or Enderle/Didio's opinions of the SCO trials. They've become so emotionally attached to the outcome they wanted, that everything about the trial is twisted to become part of the (imaginary) wrong that Samsung and the world are suffering at the hands of this (allegedly) rogue jury. Seriously, don't you notice that their comments disparaging the jury (who spent 3 weeks listening all day to the details of this stuff, far more than any of us will ever know about it) sound like SCO or Oracle disparaging their respective juries???

  • Re:phew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy (1345787) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:58AM (#41129207)

    Not only that, I suspect when he said they skipped it (the previous sentences indicate they had a very heavy, although civil, debate about it going on), they most likely circled back to it later once tempers had cooled. This is perfectly acceptable. I've been a jury foreman before and we had similar instructions from the judge. If you needed to skip something while gathering more information, or just to review other evidence while deciding on a previous question, then do so. You may not be able to come to a decision on every question in the order they are given to the jury. If you can't resolve an answer, then skip it and come back to it later.

    Samsung spent hours trying to present prior art evidence. They actually spent a relatively large portion of their case on it. Implying that the jury somehow 'skipped' it because the outcome isn't what you may have been hoping for it reaching a bit. Every jury gets very explicit instructions, and any time there is a deadlock, you can stop at any time and refer questions to the judge on how to proceed.

  • by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:02AM (#41129225) Homepage Journal
    I think the effect this case will have on the broadness of design patents is more important than the actual money. (Also, I thought Nokia's market was primarily the not-quite-smart market?)
  • Re:phew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:06AM (#41129245)

    Unfortunately, they're hard to find. There's a piece here and there, but no really good source that's been consistent. Maybe this trial was just too polarizing.

    So you got nothing, except an excuse to smear groklaw. You smell quite shilly.

  • Re:phew (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:06AM (#41129249)

    Groklaw is more for fairness and a saner patent system than anti-apple. PJ points out that she was accused of just the opposite in the Apple v. Pystar case. There were people accusing her of being an Apple fanboy at that time.

    In this case the objections are more about the verdict not having fairly considered the evidence. From the speed of the jury deliberations alone (considering there were 700 questions that needed answering) it is hard to see how they managed. Add that to some of what the jury members have been saying and the whole process seems rather questionable that they paid attention to the instructions and the facts in the case.

    Whether any of this adds any grounds for appeal or opportunities for the judge to adjust the verdict or damages is anyones guess.

  • by recoiledsnake (879048) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:08AM (#41129257)

    I agree with what you said, except I have to add to the last paragraph that Groklaw is pretty opinionated and biased in most of their coverage, except that people like you are noticing it this time around because Groklaw's bias is not fitting with yours. If you think they're anti-Apple in this case, you think they haven't been extremely biased all along in Microsoft related cases? But since PJ is the darling of Slashdot while MS is the borg, anyone even hinting bias in Groklaw has been called a paid shilll and shot down and modded down to the depths of hell all along. By the way, I don't believe she's paid to do what she does, but the bias is always there, except this time it is more noticeable to the Apple fans on Slashdot, many of who previously jumped on the anti-MS bandwagon that Groklaw ran and called it the best legal unbiased analysis of tech law issues around. Funny how biases and prejudices work.

  • Re:phew (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bmo (77928) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:16AM (#41129307)

    which I have followed and loved for years

    but I refuse to read him, because I know how badly he misrepresents things, how completely unable he is to objectively evaluate. (And what a liar he has been in the past--see opposition to Oracle's purchase of MySQL and his letter to EU commission.) So to the extent that he was right, I would consider that an accident of his prejudice aligning with reality, for once.

    Someone who has been "following Groklaw for years" doesn't make this mistake. Either that or you are one of those people who still insists that PJ is actually 5 people at IBM.

    And your argument is backed up by nothing.

    --
    BMO

  • by sribe (304414) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:19AM (#41129321)

    You know, you're right. There was anti-MS bias. But it was milder, and she still managed to present the facts pretty well despite her strong opinions. But now I realize that as time has gone on, I have been gradually filtering out more and more opinion as I read Groklaw.

    On the SCO cases, she nailed it. Yes, there was lots of opinion, but it was correct and justified, based completely in the facts of the cases and the participants' behavior. Since then I guess it has been a slow downhill slide, and in this case finally crossed some lines: definitely the line of my tolerance, but also I think a more important line: the line where you could recognize, and evaluate or ignore as you wanted, opinion, and still get the facts. You can't do that anymore--quotes baldly misrepresented to have a meaning that was obviously not intended (and obviously contrary to the claims of the person being quoted) is something that has not previously happened on Groklaw, and something that makes it no longer a quality information source--in fact renders it a really bad one.

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:20AM (#41129329) Homepage
    IANAL, etc., but while they might have assumed that there would be an appeal - it was pretty much a given, regardless of the result, really - but it's not supposed to matter. One of their obligations as jurors is to set their personal opinions aside and provide both sides with a fair trial. If they can be shown to have failed to do that, then the only fair and legal way forward is to throw the entire thing out and start over from scratch with a new jury.

    There are generally two way of appealing a verdict; attacking the opposing legal team (e.g. withholding and/or misrepresenting evidence), and attacking the court (e.g. failure to follow procedure, clear bias). I'm guessing Samsung's legal team will go mostly for the latter. Not withstanding the rulings from Judge Koh are heavily in Apple's favour, particularly in the case of denying some of their evidence (potential bias), there is a growing sentiment in the press that the jury badly failed in their duties, with the clear failure to sanity check their rulings against their penalties as Exhibit A.

    My prediction; successful appeal from Samsung on grounds of a mis-trial then back to District Court for a do-over and, no doubt, subsequent appeals and counter appeals... It's going to be a loooong time before we can stick a fork in this one.
  • by ericloewe (2129490) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:21AM (#41129335)

    From what I've gathered, his interests are pretty much the same as Apple's: defending patents that are pretty obvious and have quite a bit of prior art.

  • by sribe (304414) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:25AM (#41129355)

    ...but they are still emphasising facts...

    Not lately. Lately it's been misquotes, misrepresentations, and opinions. That's my problem with it. In this case, they've let their emotional involvement overwhelm good sense.

    I'd been following them for over 9 years and finally gave up and unsubscribed yesterday, not because I care so much about whether or not they agree with me on any particular case, but because it hurt too much to see quality thrown out the window like that. I know it sounds maudlin, but it really did hurt to see PJ now doing, without realizing it, what Darl/Enderle/Didio/Florian did so many times in the past--I just couldn't stand to continue.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:26AM (#41129357) Homepage

    "What could possibly go wrong?!" Now we know.

    And in case anyone ever asked "why do they select such stupid people to be in juries" that question should be answered now as well. Normally I would think "let jurists be experts in their fields" and I am sure lots of others do as well. It makes sense somehow. But as we can see, a patent-holding jury foreman sided with his feelings on the matter rather than on the facts. Not only that, he was already prejudiced in favor of Apple as were many jury members.

    Samsung doesn't need to appeal, they need a new trial. And in this trial, they need to be even more careful about the jury selection.

    You know what's worse than self-righteous rich people? Self-righteous wannabe-rich.

  • Re:phew (Score:1, Insightful)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:28AM (#41129383)

    PJ has been extremely anti-Apple and pro-Samsung in this case. You're right that she sided with Apple in the Psystar case though. But that doesn't change the fact about her biases in this particular case. The general rule is that she's pro-FOSS and anti-(anything that threatens FOSS). It's very clear to any neutral observer that she bats for a particular side in any case. That's why I am usually shocked when people believe and claim on here that she provides unbiased coverage. It's just that people feel that way because of their own biases in any case and then shoot down any posts that talk about her bias. Except in this case, it's one Slashdot darling against another(Apple vs PJ) so the comments will be funny to watch (since the usual ganging up of Apple fans against Slashdot Borgs MS/Oracle etc. will be missing in this case). I don't believe that PJ is a paid shill but I doubt anyone can realistically claim she's not biased. If this case was about Apple vs. MS in place of Samsung/Google, you can be sure she'd be taking Apple's side on everything instead of Samsung/MS, even if the facts were exactly the same as they are now.

  • by macraig (621737) <(mark.a.craig) (at) (gmail.com)> on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:30AM (#41129395)

    How does the judicial system compensate for a jury foreman aggressively promoting himself as a de facto expert witness?

  • Re:phew (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sribe (304414) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:31AM (#41129403)

    That said, PJ is groklaw. "Foss Patents" is a contributor, but it's still PJ's site and she steers the discussion.

    FOSS Patents is most certainly not a contributor to Groklaw. It is a completely different site, with a different viewpoint, nearly always the opposite of Groklaw (so far, it's much newer). And I was contrasting it to Groklaw.

    I went back and checked, and my post was perfectly clear. This misunderstanding is 100% on you. Either you skimmed it and skipped entire phrases, or you have extremely poor reading skills.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:37AM (#41129443)

    Groklaw consistantly sides with the law, and with common sense. I go to groklaw.net to cut through all of the bias and sensationalism of the mainstream press.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/25/technology/jury-reaches-decision-in-apple-samsung-patent-trial.html
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-25/apple-s-1-billion-verdict-may-lead-to-samsung-sales-ban.html
    http://gizmodo.com/5937762/samsung-vs-apple-apple-winning-big-updating
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19377261

    Now that's bias!

  • Re:phew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:40AM (#41129473)

    >What is this world coming to when we want to "invalidate" the findings of a jury? What is the purpose of law and trials and jury if we're just going to "overturn" any ruling that is unpopular?

    When the jury boasts that it reached it's verdict without considering all of that pesky boring evidence, what indeed is the purpose of jury trials?

  • Re:phew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrLint (519792) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:40AM (#41129477) Journal

    I really want to make a bunch of personal comments, but lets skip that for the moment.. I'd like to bring to your attention at least this one detail..

    "The jury appears to have awarded damages for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 LTE infringing — $219,694 worth — but didn't find that it had actually infringed anything....A similar inconsistency exists for the Intercept, for which they'd awarded Apple over $2 million "

    http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=2012082510525390 [groklaw.net]

    Your assertion that somehow juries are some kind of paragons of perfection is incorrect. The fact that they could not get simple things like "not infringing" = "no damages" right is a clear indication they did sloppy work, did not understand/did not follow the instructions, or directly ignored them. This is the behavior you are arguing is the inviolate will of the jury.

  • by sribe (304414) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:45AM (#41129505)

    Well, putting those parts aside, it does seem that a juror stated they set the damages in order to "send a message" and punish Samsung, something which is explicitly forbidden by the jury instructions. I'm not sure how that could possibly be quoted out of context.

    Quite easily: having found infringement, and having found that it was willful, the law (and jury instructions) were that damages should be the entire profit derived from the infringing devices. Samsung at various times had produce about 10 (I forget exactly, it was either 9 or 12) different analyses of their profit margins, including one, different from all others, for the admitted (under cross-examination) sole purpose of presentation to this jury. So they had in their hands estimates of Samsung's profit margins ranging from about 10% to about 35%, and they were required to find damages in the amount of the profits.

    They rejected the highest estimate (which came from Apple, not Samsung), and they rejected the lowest, and from that point it was basically a SWAG as to what the profits actually were--because of Samsung's obvious attempts to obfuscate. Given that, they did want to make sure that the number they picked was high enough to cause Samsung some actual pain.

    So there's your context that was left out. Also left out was the rest of that juror's sentence: "We felt like we were 100 percent fair..."

  • Re:phew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:48AM (#41129527)

    PJ was pretty much rabidly pro-Apple in her assessment of Apple vs. Psystar. So much so you got called a troll if you didn't agree.

    That was pretty much a case of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend": If you go back and read the postings PJ was convinced that Psystar were being bankrolled by the same anti-GPL forces behind SCO (maybe) and that if Psystar's attempts to use anti-trust and "first sale" to overturn Apple's EULA succeeded, they'd be used as precedent to attack the GPL (questioning that logic would get you accused of being a paid Microsoft shill).

  • by sootman (158191) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:48AM (#41129531) Homepage Journal

    "When the iPhone debuted, it was widely criticized for having no buttons/keys. Now people think the iPhone's design is 'obvious.' "
    - Dan Frakes [twitter.com]

  • by wizkid (13692) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @11:56AM (#41129593) Homepage

    I've been following the trial on groklaw and the news. This judge has less then impressed me. She did a lot of things that I question. That being said, I'm not a expert on courts and the law. But, with what I've seen, I question whether she will overturn this jury. I think it should, just on the public comments from the jury, but the whole trial sounded to me like they were railroading samsung.
    We'll see how things turn out...

  • by Zocalo (252965) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @12:07PM (#41129701) Homepage
    With hindsight, perhaps, but Samsung's legal team had their chance to evict him from the jury back in July when the jury was selected, so either they missed the chance or decided that there was a greater risk of pro-Apple bias from another juror and evicted someone else instead. From what I recall of the process there were a lot of potential jurors with a potential bias towards Apple (knowing Apple employees, owning Apple hardware, etc.) and Samsung couldn't get rid of them all, just as Apple couldn't get rid of the jurors that has similar potential bias towards Android/Samsung. I think it more likely that Samsung's legal team thought that as an electrical engineer and patent holder he might have a better grasp of their case and gambled that he might tip the balance more in their favour than in Apples'. If so it was a bad call, that's all.
  • by msauve (701917) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @12:13PM (#41129737)
    At least the OP is schooled in math. Are you claiming that Samsung has only been selling smartphones and tablets for 3 months? Fact is, they've been selling Android smartphones since 2010, and only 2 years (8 quarters) of sales would constitute 160 million devices, using the low end of his claimed numbers. That's well below $10 per device.

    Now, I don't know where he got those number, maybe they're worldwide and should be adjusted for just US sales, or adjusted just to the specific devices at issue, or adjusted for ramping sales, etc. But you said nothing to refute the numbers he gave.

    $10 per device might be a reasonable for licensing an OS, or a large block of necessary patents. But that's not the case here. The two utility patents were for "pinch to zoom" and "bounce back" windows, neither of which is essential to core functionality. Additionally, it appears that the jury simply skipped over considering prior art, and that perhaps the patents should have been invalidated.

    For example, the '915 patent covered "pinch to zoom," for which prior art [gizmodo.com] was clearly demonstrated.
  • Re:phew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve (701917) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @12:44PM (#41129907)
    "PJ has been extremely anti-Apple and pro-Samsung in this case."

    I don't believe that is true in any way. Groklaw has simply followed the law and the merits without regard to the parties. That her analysis ends up supporting Samsung's case doesn't mean she's "pro-Samsung."

    One need only look at how she's covered Oracle cases to see that - Oracle vs. Lodsys, Oracle's the good guy; Oracle vs. Google, Oracle's the bad guy.
  • Re:phew (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dell623 (2021586) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @12:51PM (#41129953)

    She bats for freedom an innovation. As odd as it may sound, it's true. Right after the Oracle Google verdict, there was a case between Oracle and a patent troll, where she supported the stand Oracle took, and remarked on the fact that it depends on the case who the bad guy is. She's consistent with her views and her stance in this case is perfectly consistent with the stands she's taken for many years, if you had bothered to go back a bit. Very different from FOSSPatents who picks a side, and when inconvenient news hits, he just ignores it.

  • by msauve (701917) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @12:56PM (#41129985)
    No. He invented TiVo (with some very obvious additions), three years after it started shipping.
  • by icebraining (1313345) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @01:06PM (#41130071) Homepage

    You don't need to get anything from Apple; for example, owners of the Galaxy S II - not an Apple device - saw their local search feature get removed by an update due to the lawsuit.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday August 26, 2012 @01:06PM (#41130079) Journal
    Apple laid claim to ideas in the commons. They have stolen from us all.
  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @01:14PM (#41130145) Journal
    Laying liability onto a fictional construct does not require granting personhood. Its a compeltely stupid concept that attempts to create a new class of citizen.
  • by salesgeek (263995) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @01:27PM (#41130227) Homepage

    I know it sounds maudlin, but it really did hurt to see PJ now doing, without realizing it, what Darl/Enderle/Didio/Florian did so many times in the past--I just couldn't stand to continue.

    Nah, it just sounds looney because what you say is happening is not happening.

  • by SuperDre (982372) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @02:04PM (#41130463) Homepage

    after reading this, it's clear to me that the trial should be repeated.. I already wondered why prior art which was shown by samsung was put aside..

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Sunday August 26, 2012 @02:17PM (#41130553) Homepage

    Surely only sales in the US should be considered. Pinch to zoom is a standard feature of Android, surely Google should be the ones being sued.

  • by RedDeadThumb (1826340) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @02:24PM (#41130613)
    So you grab random 20 people off the street. Throw out the 10 that seem most intelligent. And then then expect the 10 left over to figure out the cost of damages in a complex (and vague) economic situation. How is that working out?
  • by devent (1627873) on Sunday August 26, 2012 @03:56PM (#41131225) Homepage

    Twisted? Groklaw commented that the jury had some inconsistencies in their judgement, like awarded damages for devices that did not infringe on the patents, also the jury did not calculated the sum right. Also Groklaw commented that the juror make a statement that they wanted to punish Samsung, contrary to the jury instructions.

    "We wanted to make sure it was sufficiently high to be painful, but not unreasonable."

    So I do not know what Groklaw "twisted". And of course you get +4 "insightful" or whatever.

  • Re:Is everyone OK? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 26, 2012 @10:26PM (#41133429)

    You're misinformed on that issue. The reason for voir dire is to remove people who aren't likely to be able to set aside their prior opinions or whom have a stake in the outcome. What they did here was a violation of their oath as jurors. They are given the law and the interpretation of the law that they are to use. They then decide whether or not the plaintiff met the bar under the rules that they were given.

    Now if the judge gave improper directions to the jury, then that's one thing, but this sounds like a willful violation of their duty. Expect this verdict to be vacated and for the case to probably be settled otherwise go back to court for a proper trial.

    The rules are the rules for these things and if the jury does something like this it becomes impossible for the parties to receive a fair hearing.

    BTW, this is why I have never talked about what happened during the deliberations for the trial I was on, no matter what you say there's the possibility of giving the idea that the verdict wasn't fair. I didn't agree with one large aspect of the verdict, but I stand by the rest.

  • by Paradise Pete (33184) on Monday August 27, 2012 @12:33AM (#41134083) Journal
    You're a lawyer and you think there was jury tampering here? Come on. You're either not really a lawyer or you recently got hit in the head. Jury tampering is a criminal act. Who is the culprit? How was it done? Do tell.
  • by symbolset (646467) * on Monday August 27, 2012 @02:21AM (#41134439) Journal

    Copying from one great artist is stealing. Copying three or more is research. And that's OK.

    But lay claim to the commons and you steal from all. It is to say "Not only do I stand on the shoulders of giants - but noone else may."

    To claw back from the public domain works owned by the public, or extend temporary rights indefinitely is the same. It is unjust. It is a violation of the social contract. We will not honor the law when it is so unjust. The attempt erodes the rule and force of law, and steals from the commons again the order and comfort general respect for the law provides.

  • by aristotle-dude (626586) on Monday August 27, 2012 @02:52AM (#41134557)

    The patents that were upheld had nothing to do with rectangles with rounded corners but rather to do with interface design patents. Other Android OEMs have been able to avoid the issues that Samsung had by simply not slavishly copying Apple's implementation patents.

    Prior art be damned if Samsung ignores the prior art themselves and instead blindly copies Apple's implementation.

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.

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