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Apple Claims Ignorance of Jury Foreman's Previous Tangle With Samsung 186

Posted by timothy
from the no-idea-yerhonor dept.
quantr writes with the news that Apple claims that the company "wasn't aware during trial that the foreman of the jury that issued a $1.05 billion verdict against Samsung Electronics Co. was involved in a lawsuit with his former employer, Seagate Technology Inc. 'Samsung asked Apple to disclose when it first learned about the litigation between the jury foreman, Velvin Hogan, and Seagate. Apple responded in a filing yesterday in federal court in San Jose, California. Samsung is attempting to get the Aug. 24 verdict thrown out based on claims the trial was tainted by the foreman's failure during jury selection to tell U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh, who presided over the case, that he filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and was sued by Seagate."
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Apple Claims Ignorance of Jury Foreman's Previous Tangle With Samsung

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  • What's up! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stevew (4845) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @11:28AM (#42154457) Journal

    Why did it take them so bloody long to reply then?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You saw how long it took them to update their website right ;)

    • Re:What's up! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @11:56AM (#42154581)

      Because in 2012 the truth doesn't matter, only what can be proven. So first they had to figure out what evidence there was.

      • Re:What's up! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @08:10AM (#42160519)

        So first they had to figure out what evidence there was.

        Nope. The jurors were all given opportunity to disclose any previous legal wranglings. Hogan chose to omit the Seagate one.

    • Re:What's up! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by msauve (701917) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:43PM (#42154801)
      When asked "did (the collective) you know about x?", and you did know, it may be easy to answer quickly - you only need identify one individual or document with that knowledge. To answer that you didn't know requires that all parties who could have known be asked, along with checking all relevant records. It's much harder to prove a negative, as they say.
    • Re:What's up! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Duncan Booth (869800) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @01:27PM (#42155077) Homepage
      Because one of Apple's objections to Samsung's motion to have the verdict overturned is that the information was readily available so Samsung should have known during the trial and therefore they've missed their opportunity to object. If Apple didn't know during the trial it undermines their argument (whereas if they had known and not brought it up it would have been even worse for them).
  • Blogspam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrsam (12205) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @11:40AM (#42154503) Homepage
    This submission spams a boring blog, with a link to the real article [businessweek.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @11:46AM (#42154531)

    Look, the problem here isn't the jury, or the decision. Samsung did infringe that patent.

    It's the BLOODY STUPID PATENT THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ISSUED. A patent that fails basic common sense tests of invention, prior art and obviousness, because the patent office has gotten so far away from reality that it gives patents for existing stuff simply by adding "on a handset".

    So you may have wished the jury was just normal people, who would see the stupidness of it, and reject the claim regardless of the patent, but instead you got a person who FOLLOWED THE PATENT LAW, the insane stupid, nonsensical law, and promptly issued a $1 billion penalty that was appropriate, if we all lived in a lunatic asylum where this patent regime makes sense.

    IMHO, the fix for this decision is for Korea to issue a patent infringement case against Apple for $2 billion, and make it clear to everyone that this is just protectionism disguised as an 'innovative' curved corner design, and a camera icon that looks like a camera.

    • by arbiter1 (1204146) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @11:56AM (#42154587)
      i wouldn't say samsung infringed, cause fact in this trial the jury pretty much ignored their instructions when it came to prior art. Even in post interviews they admitted they did, and speed through the sheet.
      • It's possible that the jury instructions regarding prior art were misinterpreted but you are wrong about what was said in the post interviews. In the post interviews the foreman said that the jury was having trouble reaching consensus on one patent relating to prior art and decided to move on to deliberate easier patents. When they were done with those easier patents they returned to the difficult issue that they skipped earlier. This is standard behavior in jury deliberations and not against the jury ins
      • by Solandri (704621) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @05:35PM (#42156801)
        They never saw the most damning piece of prior art - Samsung's internal documents showing their iPhone-like prototypes in the design phase [arstechnica.net] before anyone outside of Apple had ever laid eyes on the iPhone. That was the evidence Judge Koh disallowed from the trial because Samsung missed a filing deadline.

        I said at the time that this was a huge judicial error. That she was ignoring the spirit of the law to follow the letter of the law. The reason for having filing deadlines is to prevent one side from dragging out a trial for so long that the cost of the trial exceeds any award amount, thus making justice uneconomical. But in this case the potential outcome was worth billions of dollars, while a few days extension would've cost at most a few tens of thousands. So clearly the spirit of the law would not have been violated by allowing the evidence, with perhaps a stern reprimand to Samsung's lawyers for missing the deadline. But she disallowed it, and now we're most likely gonna have to waste millions of dollars on a new trial because of her decision.
    • by Dogbertius (1333565) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:28PM (#42154723)
      I usually avoid posts with several ALL CAPS sentences (so I must ignore my own post after committing in :) ), but you make a good point. I've personally gone through hundreds of patents for my own entrepreneurial work, and can't believe the sheer number of patents that are "XYZ, which has been around for 20+ years, but now on a phone/mobile_device/tablet".

      I was actually surprised Nokia won that patent suit against RIM. Wifi on a mobile device? The first thing I said to myself when Wifi came out was "Man, imagine this on a phone. Cheap calls and zero data plan overcharges". That was, of course, until telcos and ISPs decided that rather than innovate or improve infrastructure, they would just litigate against tech that benefits the customer (ie: anti net neutrality, fees for tethering your phone even though it costs the carrier nothing, likewise with SMS messages, which have been around for 20 years apparently, potentially forcing a voice plan on you if you are just using a data plan with Skype).

      Regardless of how this affects my business personally, it seems the absurdity with patents and monopolistic practices amongst ISPs (whose money was used to lay the cable in the first place anyway?), there is a constant war on the consumer. I really wish the layperson (ie: 75%+ of voting individuals) would at least realize this so we could effect change. No wonder critical thinking isn't taught until university (if at all) and one can go through his or her whole life without a single course on formal logic, fallacies, and statistics.
    • Look, the problem here isn't the jury, or the decision. Samsung did infringe that patent.

      It's the BLOODY STUPID PATENT THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN ISSUED. A patent that fails basic common sense tests of invention, prior art and obviousness

      There aren't any "basic common sense tests" of invention, prior art, and obviousness, just as there isn't a "basic common sense test" for whether an accused murderer is guilty. They're legal decisions, subject to the requirements of due process, and must be supported by evidence. Just as you can't say, "I have a gut feeling that he looks guilty, so let's send him away for life," you can't say "I have a gut feeling that this patent is obvious, so let's make it invalid." You need sufficient evidence that prov

    • by thaylin (555395)
      Actually there was prior art, that the foreman talked the rest into ignoring because he was a supposed expert. That shows a problem with a jury.
  • by sribe (304414) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:05PM (#42154621)

    The jury foreman did not have a previous tangle with Samsug. He had a previous tangle with Seagate. Seagate is not a subsidiary of Samsung. Samsung has invested in Seagate to the extent of a 10% share.

    It seems a stretch to claim that the foreman's anger at Seagate from 20 years ago must necessarily extend to all current investors in Seagate.

    • by medv4380 (1604309) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:21PM (#42154693)
      People have held grudges for far less. However, his deliberate miss interpretation of the jury instructions is almost certainly rooted in his past legal battles.
      • by gutnor (872759)

        Alleged miss interpretation. As I said in another post, there is conveniently a lot of stories around this jury. Remember that only the jury members were there but there a thousands of journalists ready to pay for an exiting story.

        OK it could have happened the way the "press" says it has. But really, the guy hold that kind of a grudge for 20+ years, but then blew it up in the press ? And what kind of revenge is that ? That's a movie or book revenge, not a real life one. Victories in first instance is onl

        • by Rogerborg (306625)
          Give it up, eh? These "stories" are coming from Hogan himself. Was he lying then, or is he lying now? Actually, it could be both.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:24PM (#42154709)

      The issue is not Samsung's investment in Seagate...the issue is the jurors were asked if they had been involved as either a defendant or plaintiff in civil litigation before and the foreman specifically omitted the Seagate lawsuit.

      I'm not sure why this particular filing is important....Apple filed a similar motion asking Samsung to divulge when it first learned of the foreman's involvement in a Seagate lawsuit.

      None of this seems as relevant as the foreman's apparent failure to actually consider the case on its own merit and rather substituting his own personal views/knowledge of patent law (which seems to be wildly incorrect based on comments both by the foreman and other jurors).

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @01:08PM (#42154949) Journal

        None of this seems as relevant as the foreman's apparent failure to actually consider the case on its own merit and rather substituting his own personal views/knowledge of patent law (which seems to be wildly incorrect based on comments both by the foreman and other jurors).

        I'm not sure this matters. Remember that the jury is free to completely throw out the law if they like (Jury annulment). In general the decision of the jury cannot be questioned, even if their reason for coming to the verdict was, "I don't like police."

        • That is only the case on a criminal trial, and then only if nobody finds out about it before hand.

          Jury nullification is not a legal right, it isn't something specifically granted to juries. It is a de facto ability in criminal trials due to the prohibition against double jeopardy. Once a jury has been impaneled, if the case is dismissed or an innocent verdict is returned, the case may never be brought for retrial. As such, the jury can nullify by returning an innocent verdict.

          However for that matter, the ju

          • In civil cases, the 7th amendment applies
            • Not in the same way. Verdicts can still be reviewed. Even if the courts can't challenge findings of fact, they can challenge application of the law, which is the argument in this case. Also they can change the awards. That last one is real common. Juries tend to be very free with other people's money and the appellate courts often reign that in.

    • There is more about it than this. The lawsuit representing Seagate in that case (which caused him to go bankrupt and lose his house IIRC) is related to a lawyer in the Samsung case's side.
    • http://drive.seagate.com/content/samsung-en-us [seagate.com]

      as far as hd businesses go, they're effectively the same company in strategic partnership. for someone with a grudge it would certainly be enough.

      the guy's a dimwit though, bragging about. no ethics - or style - at all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:07PM (#42154637)

    God damnit slashdot editors, pull your head out of your asses...

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-30/apple-says-it-was-unaware-of-samsung-jury-foreman-s-suit

  • Jeez, timothy (Score:5, Informative)

    by xigxag (167441) on Saturday December 01, 2012 @12:11PM (#42154653)

    Fix typo please.

    "Apple Claims Ignorance of Jury Foreman's Previous Tangle With Samsung"

    should read

    "Apple Claims Ignorance of Jury Foreman's Previous Tangle With Seagate"

  • Have you been involved in relevant litigation IN THE LAST TEN YEARS. The suit was more than ten years ago. If he's on the jury wrongfully, it's because they didn't ask the right questions.

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